Recent elections should serve as a wake-up call to moderates in both the Utah Democrat and Republican parties who think that they are going to gain and maintain the support of Hispanics by voting consistently for legislation that benefits illegal aliens.
Four years ago, Luz Robles, a former director of the State Office of Ethnic Affairs under Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, challenged pro-illegal alien, incumbent Fred Fife for the Democrat nomination for the Utah State Senate.
Fife had long supported illegal aliens and had voted to give them driver licenses and in-state college tuition. He also opposed replacing driver licenses for illegal aliens with a driving privilege card.
Robles won the nomination and was eventually elected to the Senate. Her election sent a clear message that pro-illegal alien, moderates will be replaced by Hispanics at the earliest possible moment.
At the time of her nomination, Robles was closely linked to many of the highest ranking officials in the government of Mexico and the perception held by some was that she was actively engaged in increasing Mexican power and influence in Utah and the United States.
This year (2012), Hispanic, Liz Muniz challenged and defeated another long-serving, pro-illegal immigrant, moderate Democrat legislator, Neal Hendrickson, in a primary election. Hendrickson was the longest serving Democrat in the legislature having first been elected in 1990.
Hendrickson voted consistently in favor of in-state tuition and driver licenses for illegal aliens and he opposed replacing driver licenses for illegal aliens with the driving privilege card.
Hendrickson voted twice for HB116 which gives illegal aliens the right to work in Utah and he also played a defining role in killing attempts to pass strong E-Verify legislation during the 2012 legislative session by keeping it bottled up in the House Rules Committee.
In still another 2012 race, pro-illegal immigrant, moderate, Republican legislator, Johnny Anderson survived a strong challenge from another Hispanic Democrat, Celina Milner.
Anderson is an unabashed supporter of illegal immigrants. He is a fierce opponent of E-Verify and he tried to gut Utah’s current E-Verify law when it came to the floor of the House in 2010. When that failed, he voted against final passage.
Anderson is also a strong supporter of in-state tuition for illegal aliens and he voted along with the Democrats in the House for a substitute bill designed to save in-state tuition from being abolished. And like Hendrickson, he voted twice for HB116 in order to give illegal aliens the right to work in the Utah.
However, this was still not enough to protect him from a strong Hispanic challenge in 2012. He eventually managed to hold on to his seat by a 53% to 47% margin (791) votes) down from the 62%-38%, 1,563 vote margin in 2010.
Recent elections should make moderates in both parties who support illegal immigrants and pro-illegal alien legislation a little less secure than they have been in the past due to the rise of identity politics.