Texas Redistricting “Horrible” For Latino Voters

Latino voters lose under the current redistricting plan passed by the Texas House, according to attorney Rolando Rios, who has more than 30 years worth of experience in redistricting battles in Texas. As the state senate gears up for its own redistricting, News Taco sat down with Rios to ask him what the fate of Latino voters appears to be under the plan as it stands now.

Rios told News Taco that Texas has violated voting laws consistently over the past 40 years in: 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2005. There’s clearly a long record of Texas legislators violating the rights of minority voters in the state (even though now “minorities” make up a majority of the Texas population), Rios told us. This is done in one of two ways:

Packing – Wherein minority voters are packed into one district, so say, they only can use their votes to elect one representative, instead of two if their votes were divided into multiple districts.

Cracking – Wherein minority voters are divided up into multiple districts so their vote is diluted to the point where they have no power to elect anybody.

Texas gained the most congressional districts across the country — four new seats because of growth of 4 million people that was by Rios’ estimate due 80% to minorities. Consequently, Latinos should be getting at least three of these four new seats, but thus far they’ve only received one in the house plan, Rios told News Taco. “They haven’t given us our fair share,” he said, adding the current plan pits current Latino legislators against each other in new districts.

“It’s a horrible plan, it really gerrymanders against Latinos,” Rios told us. There were potential seats to be had along the border, in North Texas and Houston, and existing districts were also redrawn so badly that either only 1.5% of the original district remained, or they ran from the border halfway up the state to Austin.

Latinos should get at least three seats, if not four, and consequently there are three pending lawsuits against the current plan. Rios told us that the federal courts are ultimately the ones that will decide the new district lines, and that should happen by the end of the year, just in time for next year’s March primaries.

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Video By News Taco; Image Created By Census And Elkanah Tisdale]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]