“Crime Keeps On Falling, but Prisons Keep On Filling” has made people laugh since the infamous New York Times headline appeared in 1997.
To this it may soon add “Biden Has Thrown Open the Borders, Yet Hispanic Voters Are Dumping Him.”
Getting a cause-and-effect relationship exactly backward is known as a “Fox Butterfield headline,” after the Times reporter who wrote the article.
Crime falls because criminals are behind bars. Duh.
Only Times writers would be puzzled by that.
Now some commentators are perplexed that Hispanic support for President Biden is falling like piñata candy at a 5-year-old’s party.
Biden has all but erased the US border with Mexico — wouldn’t Hispanic people like that?
There are a couple of reasons for this, but first let’s go over the Biden numbers.
They truly are awful.
For months now, poll after poll has shown that the very different groups of Americans the Census Bureau has collectivized under the terms Hispanic and Latino — in order of numerical size, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadoran Americans, Cuban Americans and others — are running away from Biden.
The latest poll, by USA Today and Suffolk University, out just this year, shows Biden actually trailing the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, among Hispanics by 5 percentage points, 34% percent to 39%.
By comparison Mitt Romney received 27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, with President Barack Obama winning more than 70%.
Biden’s numbers with Hispanics are even lower than his already-abysmal 39% support in the survey.
Well, the poll, like most polls, was conducted among registered voters, in this case 1,000 of them. Some polls are conducted among “likely voters.”
But all serious surveys seek to take the temperature of the electorate.
Illegal immigrants, the beneficiaries of Biden’s open-borders policy, are not voters — at least not yet! — so their opinion on electoral matters is not sought; nor should it be.
Per Pew Research last year, they make one-fifth of the US foreign-born population. That number is in flux, to be sure.
According to my Heritage Foundation colleague Lora Ries, who tracks this issue, Customs and Border Protection under Biden has encountered more than 8.5 million illegal or inadmissible aliens through December, most of whom have been released into the United States.
Add to that some 1.7 million known “gotaways,” and that gives you 10.2 million illegal immigrants since Biden decided America didn’t need “no stinking border.”
That is 3% of the US population that existed when Biden took office in January 2021 and opened the border.
That disturbs the proportion of the 63.7 million or so Hispanics who are here legally and can vote.
And that matters politically because they account for 19.1% of all Americans, the largest ethnic group besides non-Hispanic whites.
As I have been told over and over, whether I am in southern Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, a Miami cafecito shop or a Manhattan bodega, those who made the effort to come here legally (again, the majority of the population and the totality of voters — or so one hopes) are disturbed, even offended, by those who cut the line.
In places like McAllen, Texas, and Hialeah, Fla., where the poor rely on government services, seeing someone who broke the law move ahead of you rankles.
Semafor reported that border crossings have created dissatisfaction among Hispanics.
The irritation is made worse by the utter chaos at the border.
Biden & Co. thought it was something only Fox watchers would ever know about, but it became impossible for the rest of the media to keep avoiding the story.
The border is overrun, and everyone knows.
It just so happens that more than 50% of border-patrol agents are Hispanic, mostly Mexican Americans.
They and their families know well how shabbily they have been treated under Biden.
But there is another thing, I think, contributing to Biden’s plunging popularity with Americans of Hispanic origin: his party’s takeover by a woke left that has gone absolutely berserk over sexual and racial matters.
The president himself, never known for racial sensibilities (the opposite, in fact), has become slavishly obeisant to the left of the left.
There’s a long explanation for that, and it has to do with the Marxist left’s abandonment of the working man as the agent of revolution once it realized workers are patriotic, religious and family-oriented.
The locus of revolt passed to racial, ethnic and sexual identity categories.
The term “Latinx” epitomizes the problem.
Loved by the woke, it is disdained in bodegas and cafecito shops alike. Yet NPR loves it!
That is at the core of these numbers.
The left has gotten cause and effect wrong again.
Mike Gonzalez is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow. His last book was “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.”