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From The California Paradox:
High taxes, oppressive regulations, and socialism undoubtedly hurt California’s economy, but they are just the surface effects of a deeper cause. In reality, immigration is primarily to blame for California’s abnormally high poverty level.
Since 1960 California’s population exploded from 15.9 to 39 million people. The growth was almost entirely due to immigration—many people came from other states but the majority came from abroad. The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that 10 million immigrants currently reside in California. This works out to 26 percent of the State’s population.
This figure includes 2.4 million illegal aliens, although a recent study from Yale University suggests that the true number of aliens is at least double that. Modifying the initial figure implies that nearly one-in-three Californians is an immigrant. This is not to disparage California’s immigrant population—my mother is an immigrant.—but it’s madness to deny that such a large influx of people has changed California’s society and economy.
Important for our purposes is the fact that immigrants vote Democrat by a ratio higher than 2:1, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies. In California, immigration has increased the pool of likely Democrat voters by nearly 5 million people, compared to just 2.4 million additional likely Republican voters. Not only does this almost guarantee Democratic victories, but it also shifts California’s political midpoint to the left. This means that to remain competitive in elections, the Republicans must abandon or soften many conservative positions so as to cater to the center.
California became a Democratic stronghold not because Californians became socialists, but because millions of socialists moved there. Immigration turned California blue.