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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Is the Rio Grande Valley Simply Misplaced Now to Democrats? Categorical Instances

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The border has at all times been the stuff of fable, thriller, and violence, and the Rio Grande Valley has its personal distinctive character and historical past. 4 counties make up the Valley—Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr, and Willacy—the terrain of hunters and gatherers relationship again 11,000 years, when it’s stated the Coahuiltecans hunted animals, fished, and gathered fruit and roots. The Lipan Apaches and the Comanches arrived in Texas within the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and Spanish and Mexican settlers colonized the area and constructed cattle ranches and vegetable and citrus farms.

Right this moment, the valley has about 1.4 million folks, 95 % Hispanic in a state the place Hispanics—Latinos, Tejanos—now represent a plurality of the inhabitants. The newest census knowledge reveals that 40.2 % of the state’s 30 million residents are Latino, in comparison with 39.8 % non-Hispanic whites. Regardless of the presence of oil refineries, agriculture, and manufacturing, the valley is among the many poorest areas of Texas. The typical family earnings is $66,313, in comparison with the state’s $101,152. And in contrast to a lot of Texas, the valley stays Democrat. However Latinos within the border area signify lower than a 3rd of the state’s Latino vote. Nearly twice as many stay within the 4 largest metroplexes of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, which have Democratic majorities however are surrounded by Republican-leaning suburbs and exurbs.

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist College and scholar of American politics, appears to be like at it this fashion: “Hispanic communities have been there for hundreds of years. They’re built-in, have good jobs, however now that safety is endangered by immigrant newcomers, many greater than 10, 20 years in the past. They worry they are going to lose the good points they’ve made. The brand new immigration threatens the social and cultural material.”

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