Immigration reform in the U.S. will have a profound effects on the presidential election in 2020.Millions of undocumented immigrants living in this country and working toward a path to citizenship will earn voting rights by then. Both parties are looking to the past few elections as guidance, but it is difficult to predict the voting tendencies of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
Immigrants who are working on a path to citizenship will not be legally allowed to vote for another 14 years, leading them into the 2028 election year. However, children of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. under the age of 16 are eligible to receive Deferred Action status and are automatically on a faster track to citizenship. These young people will be eligible to participate in the 2020 elections and are commonly known as DREAMers. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act provides conditional citizenship for young immigrants who have graduated from high school, are in good moral standing, and were brought to this country before the age of 16.
Many lawmakers and legislators are focusing on this young demographic because they will hold the future of the election in their hands as they vote. The majority of these young people are from Latino and Asian backgrounds. Asian and Latino citizens and naturalized immigrants will count for 37 percent of eligible voters by the 2020 election, and group of Latinos and Asians is often said to be the group that will steer the vote because immigration reform directly affects their families and communities.
Both parties are taking notice of the influx of newly naturalized immigrants, and both parties’ districts will be affected in the future.