Watching the Democrat debate, I couldn’t help but wonder why Republicans will likely struggle to eke out a victory against a field of candidates that in any other generation would be unelectable. There is not a single moderately liberal candidate with broad appeal in this field of Democratic presidential candidates. The Democrat Party of the 1980s, which was bad enough in its own time, would hardly recognize this cast of characters who champion the transgendered agenda, illegal immigration, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
So why is it that by all accounts this will still be a relatively close election – with Democrats guaranteed over 200 electoral votes no matter the outcome, the quality of the candidates, or the issues confronting the country?
It’s immigration, stupid.
Sure, if you dumped this cast of characters into an election during the ‘80s, each one of them would likely lose almost every state. But times have changed.
There’s a reason the Democrats are such ardent supporters of open borders. It has helped give them an impervious floor of support very close to the 50-yard line in American politics, and under the current trajectory, they will easily cross that critical 51% marker of a permanent electoral majority.
A number of immigration analysts, including yours truly, have written about the unprecedented nature – in terms of scope, duration, and origin – of the current wave of immigration (which still hasn’t peaked). But what is truly breathtaking is the growth of naturalizations that has been engendered by this wave of immigration when compared even to the Great Wave around the turn of the century.
As you can see from this chart, even during the highest naturalization years of the Great Wave (which obviously lagged behind the initial admission of these immigrants from 1900-1921), we admitted anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 new citizens to our electorate. Yet, over the past 18 years we have admitted over roughly 700,000-800,000 citizens into our voting population every year, with a few years reaching 1 million.
In other words, even during the Great Wave, when there were some years we admitted roughly as many annual immigrants as we do today (although not for such a sustained period of time), that era of immigration didn’t result in as many people becoming citizens.
After comparing the past 25 years of green card issuance to the 25 years of the Great Wave when the most immigrants were admitted into this country I found that while we have taken in many more immigrants during the current wave relative to the Great Wave, an even greater percentage of immigrants have become citizens in the modern era than in previous waves of immigration.
Here are the numbers:
Over the 25-year period from 1989-2013, the U.S. has admitted 25.3 million legal permanent residents. During a comparable 25-year period at the height of the Great Wave, from 1900-1924, only 16.8 million green cards were issued. The current wave has been 66% larger than the Great Wave in terms of green cards issued. That is certainly a lot when contrasting with an era when we were still filling up an empty country and lacked a welfare state or a culture of anti-assimilation.
But that is only half the story.
While the immigration wave of the modern era was 66% larger than the Great Wave, the “naturalization wave” was 329% greater.
But that is only half the story.
From 1996 to 2013, 12,609,174 new immigrants became citizens. During the actual Great Wave, the number of naturalizations was still very low because it took time for them to go through the system and become citizens. But even if you take an equivalent 18-year period with the highest level of naturalizations, which was from 1928 to1945, just 3,835,758 immigrants were naturalized.  In other words, while the immigration wave of the modern era was 66% larger than the Great Wave, the “naturalization wave” was 329% greater.
Moreover, we have not even actualized the full extent of the wave of immigration, which is still growing. That means the naturalization boon to the Democrat Party will only continue to grow as we actualize the lag time from when the existing flow of immigrants (which is beyond anything we’ve ever seen) become citizens.
Gradual immigration, absorption, citizenship, and assimilation
Take a look at the chart above showing the trend line of annual immigrants admitted per year and annual naturalizations processed. Notice how even the “wave” of naturalizations that resulted from the “turn of the century immigration,” which in itself is less than one-third of the current wave, transpired during the ‘30s and ‘40s – the precise time of the immigration shutoff.
Accordingly, while record numbers of immigrants (at that point in time) were becoming new citizens with voting rights, there were very few additional immigrants entering the country to undermine the absorption of the previous wave into America’s political values.
Sure, most immigrants always tended to vote Democrat even back then, but the responsible policies of our past political leaders ensured that immigration – even at its peak – and the ensuing growth in naturalizations – did not upset the political balance of the country. In fact, as these immigrants became absorbed into the melting pot, and before the naturalization effect of the 1965 immigration bill really began to take effect, there were predictions of a permanent Republican electoral majority in the presidential elections.
In comes the massive wave of 59 million immigrants since 1965, with record numbers of naturalizations that dwarf those of the Great Wave. And most of these new immigrants are becoming citizens with voting rights as even greater numbers of immigrants from similar backgrounds are arriving to reinforce their ranks. It’s no surprise that this has prevented many immigrants from melting into the pot and becoming absorbed into our constitutional republican values. The opposite has occurred. Now the endless waves of immigration, in conjunction with waves of naturalizations, have permanently changed the republican values of our political system.
As noted several weeks ago, California is a vivid example of how irresponsible and endless immigration over a short period of time can completely remake a society. Twenty-seven percent of the entire state’s population is foreign born and 44% of the state’s residents speak another language at home. By my count, 3.52 million immigrants have been naturalized in California since 1996, roughly one-fourth of the total naturalizations nationwide.  There is simply no way Republicans can ever win with demographics like that. States like New York, Illinois, and New Jersey are in the same boat. Now Florida, Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado are teetering on the brink.
Now, take a look at the Census data contrasting the percentage of foreign born in key states and the dramatic changes that occurred between 1980 and 2010.
Is it any wonder why states like California, Washington, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey are unwinnable? Is it any wonder why Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida have become so difficult to win in recent years? It’s not hard to foresee how Democrats utilize a growing path to winning Arizona, Texas, and Georgia in the coming years. Given the conservative bent of the native population in these states it will take longer to paint them blue, but there is a limit to how much immigration a state could absorb without being completely changed by the tsunami of new voters, ineluctably benefiting Democrats in the long run.
Last year, Professor James Gimpel did an analysis of major metropolitan areas showing the correlation between the growth in immigration and dimming electoral prospects for Republicans. The numbers are striking.
Keep in mind that this data is five years old and the trajectory has only made it harder for the GOP’s electoral prospects given the immigration trends.
Also, although the current naturalization numbers are three-fold of any previous era, there is so much more potential for Democrats in the existing immigration numbers. As of 2012, the DHS’s Office of Immigration Statistics estimated that there are 8.8 million additional immigrants in this country, aside from the existing 20 million naturalized citizens, who are eligible for citizenship but have not pursued the process. It’s no surprise Obama is attempting to sign them up with alacrity. Democrats understand that they are within arm’s length of creating a permanent majority. Evidently, most Republicans are still whistling past their burial sites.
Origin of the New Voters
Maybe unbridled immigration will not doom conservatives in this country after all. Perhaps, you might think, California is an aberration. If we only put on our best Jack Kemp message of optimism we will court newly naturalized immigrants in droves and recruit them to the cause of constitutional republicanism and traditional values.
In addition to numbers and time, the origin of immigrants matters in the social equation when determining the likelihood of assimilation. People who come in large numbers from Latin America and parts of Asia and Africa, on average, are not used to the same political system as, say, individuals who come here from Canada. Not only have we naturalized record numbers of new immigrants, almost all of the newly naturalized immigrants have come and will continue to come from third world countries that are steeped in Marxism and liberation theology.
In 1910, 89% of immigrants came from Europe; today that number is just 10%. Take a look at the top 20 countries of origin of those recently naturalized (770,000 in 2013) and you will not find a single western country on the list:
Remember, income level plays a big role in determining one’s support for redistributive policies. Whereas immigrants from Europe have a median adjusted family income of $66,600, immigrants from Mexico and the Caribbean earn just $31,100, and immigrants from Africa earn $34,800. Asian immigrants do slightly better at $46,000. 
While immigrants have always tended to support bigger government, when the rate of immigration is gradual enough they tend to assimilate into our political values in the long run. But when unfathomable amounts of immigrants are coming from the third world in such a short period of time, they change the country instead of being changed by it.
According to a 2012 survey conducted by YouGov, current immigrants favor Democrats over Republicans by almost 4-1. Eagle Forum did a comprehensive analysis of polling data on the political views of recent immigrants and found that on every major issue they are to the left of the native population. Here are some key data points:
This is exactly what Jefferson feared of mass migration, even at a time when the nascent country was empty and all the immigrants came from Europe. Here is what he wrote in Notes on the State of Virginia:
But are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected from a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners? It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible in matters which they must of necessity transact together. Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by common consent. Every species of government has its specific principles. Ours perhaps are more peculiar than those of any other in the universe. It is a composition of the freest principles of the English constitution, with others derived from natural right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet, from such, we are to expect the greatest number of emigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass.
Over 230 years later, we now have distracted masses to such an extent that Joe Biden can appear to be the most lucid option for the Democrat Party, yet Democrats are guaranteed 45% of the electorate as a given. How much longer can this continue?
 Some of this might have to do with the fact that people had shorter life spans and not as many immigrants ultimately lived long enough to convert their status. Also, it appears that there was a higher rate of emigration and people returning home in those days. Either way, modern immigration clearly results in more immigrants becoming citizens.
 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. Lawful Permanent Residents, Table 1 http://www.dhs.gov/publication/yearbook-immigration-statistics-2013-lawful-permanent-residents
 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. Naturalizations, Table 20 http://www.dhs.gov/publication/yearbook-immigration-statistics-2013-naturalizations
 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. Naturalizations, Table 22 http://www.dhs.gov/publication/yearbook-immigration-statistics-2013-naturalizations
 Pew Research Center http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/09/28/chapter-3-the-changing-characteristics-of-recent-immigrant-arrivals-since-1970/
 YouGov/Polimetrix Cooperative Congressional Election Study 2012, cited by James Gimpel at Center for Immigration Studies http://cis.org/immigration-impacts-on-republican-prospects-1980-2012
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.