will protests help increase latino voting?

Demographics show immediate boost in Latino voting unlikely
— reported by the Houston Chronicle

The masses of young Hispanics who have been turning out for protests against immigration legislation pending before Congress once again have raised the prospect that Latino voting power finally will erupt, although demographic realities still appear to trump the demonstrators’ passion.

Hispanics have been the fastest-growing major population segment in Texas since 1990, adding at least 3.5 million people.

[snip]

The immigration protests have prompted dramatic displays of Latino activism, but several authorities on Hispanic politics say the displays are no more likely than Sanchez to produce an immediate upswing in Hispanic voting among Texans.

They predict the new activism is more likely to instill a political identity into a generation of Latinos who will become regular voters in five to 10 years.

The reasons, the experts say, are simple.

Many of the demonstrators are young and, like other young people, they do not vote regularly. Much of the new Hispanic population is foreign-born, and a large percentage lacks citizenship.

And the older, native-born Hispanic population is not as opposed to restrictions on immigration as the immigrants.

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