By Pilar Marrero, La Opinión and FI2W reporter
On Election Day, Colorado became the first state to reject an initiative by the controversial Ward Connerly, one of the nation’s leading opponents of affirmative action.
In Arizona, voters decided not to pass Proposition 202, a state ballot initiative that would have imposed extreme penalties on business owners that hire undocumented immigrants.
Some politicians who are known for their anti-immigrant positions also came up short on Nov. 4: Lou Barletta, the famed mayor of Hazleton, Pa., lost his bid to become a congressman. His city is well known as the municipality that started the rush of local ordinances against undocumented immigrants.
This time, anti-immigrant and anti-minority proposals and candidates did not do as well as in previous elections. The reasons may vary: more Democratic voters, higher immigrant participation, more important or pressing issues, like the economy. It may also be that blaming immigrants for society’s ills is becoming a less effective political strategy.
Take what happened in congressional contests. Of 21 races for the Senate and the House where the issue of immigration was brought up as a problem (usually by the Republican candidate), 19 were won by the more moderate politician, usually a Democrat . The “enforcement only” crowd didn’t have too many successes.
“It’s clear that the Republican strategy to use immigration as a wedge issue turned into a spectacular failure this year,” claims a report by NDN, an organization that promotes moderate immigration policies within the Democratic Party.