Some Say ‘intent to Dilute Minority Voting Strength’ in Redistricting Case Is Nothing New

The latest ruling against Texas by a three-judge federal panel has found "intent to dilute minority voting strength" when state lawmakers redrew congressional districts in 2011.The key word here is "intent."For state Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas, the ruling reinforces his argument and confirms his concern of a pattern by state GOP lawmakers to discriminate against Latinos.It's difficult not to see that pattern, when you look at the growing list of GOP policies and laws that have taken place since 2011, he says.That's the year Latinos became the majority in the state's public schools, and the year that the Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion from public school funding.Lawmakers added most of it back two years later, but some programs — especially bilingual — have never fully recovered. The public school population has only grown since then, and schools are struggling to keep up.Also in 2011, lawmakers redrew congressional district boundaries, and their new map was found to intentionally discriminate against minority populations. The Legislature introduced a voter ID bill that also was found by federal courts to intentionally discriminate, and lawmakers offered sanctuary city legislation for the first time.In addition, Texas GOP leaders have pushed for greater Texas-Mexico border control funding at a time when immigration has been flat.This legislative session, the GOP is pushing a sanctuary cities ban to punish both local governments that provide sanctuary for immigrants and local officials who promote such policies.Anchía says he's simply connecting the dots."Since the future of this state depends on how well Latinos do, these attacks not only hurt Latinos, but impact the state as a whole," he said.  Continue reading...

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