Monday 18 December 2017

Jon Swaine: Now it's Hispanic votes that count -- and could lock Republicans out of power for a generation

Jon Swaine

Marie Lopez Rogers works on the same scorched patch of Arizonan desert today as she did 55 years ago. But while her hands were torn to ribbons as an eight-year-old picking cotton with her Mexican immigrant grandparents, these days the worst she has to fear is a paper cut.

Mrs Lopez Rogers (63) is now mayor and sits in an air-conditioned office at City Hall. "I feel I have lived the American dream," she says, blinking away a tear. Millions hope to follow her. The population of the city she leads, Avondale, more than doubled in the last decade, much of the growth driven by the Hispanic families who during that time became its majority.

Here in Arizona's searing West Valley, home to four of the country's 10 fastest-growing cities, America's future is on display. The US Census Bureau said last month that for the first time more ethnic minority babies were being born than white infants, with Latinos leading the charge. It was a milestone on the road to a nationwide non-white majority, currently forecast for 2042.

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