Gerrymandering, identity politics, and amnesty

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Gerrymandering, identity politics, and amnesty

[cap­tion id=“attachment_54680” align=“alignright” width=“150”]John "Lee" Ruberry John “Lee” Ruberry[/caption]

By John Ruberry

Pres­i­dent Obama’s point man on “com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform,” which is noth­ing more than a pseu­do­nym for amnesty for ille­gal aliens, is fel­low Chicagoan Luis Gutier­rez, a Demo­c­rat who rep­re­sents Illi­nois’ ger­ry­man­dered fourth con­gres­sional district.

Last week Gutier­rez, while speak­ing at a con­ven­tion of the far-​left La Raza (The Race) last week, said His­panic vot­ers need to head to the bal­lot box to “pun­ish” Amer­i­cans such as myself who don’t believe in open bor­ders and who, in his words, want to
“crim­i­nal­ize chil­dren who come to our border.”

Well, when these kids, regard­less of their cir­cum­stances, cross our bor­der they are break­ing the law.

It was a busy week for Gutier­rez. After his La Raza out­burst, he said on MSNBC that through exec­u­tive orders, Pres­i­dent Obama could legal­ize “three or four, maybe even five mil­lion people.”

Gutier­rez views him­self as an His­panic con­gress­man, not as a con­gress­man who is His­panic. Stick with me on this one – who can blame him?

After the 1990 decen­nial remap, an His­panic major­ity dis­trict was drawn that was cen­tered mostly in Chicago. But cre­at­ing the dis­trict was prob­lem­atic. His­pan­ics in Chicago were con­cen­trated in two pock­ets – one on the north­west side of the city, at the other on the south­west side. Between those areas was – and still is – Chicago’s predominantly-​black West Side. So the car­tog­ra­phers cre­ated what Roll Call dubs “the Latin ear­muffs,” which has only been rep­re­sented by Gutier­rez. Only minor changes have been made in the fol­low­ing remaps to the shape of the district.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_57536” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”] The Latin Earmuffs[/caption]

So of course Gutier­rez looks into his mir­ror each morn­ing sees an His­panic congressman.

But if dis­tricts in Illi­nois were drawn as they are in neigh­bor­ing Iowa–by a com­puter that only takes pop­u­la­tion into account–the fourth might instead be, to swipe a phrase from Jesse Jack­son, a rain­bow coali­tion dis­trict. Per­haps Gutier­rez would still be its rep­re­sen­ta­tive. But rather than bow­ing to iden­tity pol­i­tics, Gutier­rez would serve Illi­nois as a con­gress­man who is Hispanic.

And that is as it should be.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

By John Ruberry

President Obama’s point man on “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is nothing more than a pseudonym for amnesty for illegal aliens, is fellow Chicagoan Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Illinois’ gerrymandered fourth congressional district.

Last week Gutierrez, while speaking at a convention of the far-left La Raza (The Race) last week, said Hispanic voters need to head to the ballot box to “punish” Americans such as myself who don’t believe in open borders and who, in his words, want to
“criminalize children who come to our border.”

Well, when these kids, regardless of their circumstances, cross our border they are breaking the law.

It was a busy week for Gutierrez. After his La Raza outburst, he said on MSNBC that through executive orders, President Obama could legalize “three or four, maybe even five million people.”

Gutierrez views himself as an Hispanic congressman, not as a congressman who is Hispanic. Stick with me on this one–who can blame him?

After the 1990 decennial remap, an Hispanic majority district was drawn that was centered mostly in Chicago. But creating  the district was problematic. Hispanics in Chicago were concentrated in two pockets–one on the northwest side of the city, at the other on the southwest side. Between those areas was–and still is–Chicago’s predominantly-black West Side. So the cartographers created what Roll Call dubs “the Latin earmuffs,” which has only been represented by Gutierrez. Only minor changes have been made in the following remaps to the shape of the district.

The Latin Earmuffs

So of course Gutierrez looks into his mirror each morning sees an Hispanic congressman.

But if districts in Illinois were drawn as they are in neighboring Iowa–by a computer that only takes population into account–the fourth might instead be, to swipe a phrase from Jesse Jackson, a rainbow coalition district. Perhaps Gutierrez would still be its representative. But rather than bowing to identity politics, Gutierrez would serve Illinois as a congressman who is Hispanic.

And that is as it should be.

 John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.