Latinos Urge Court To Uphold Voting Rights Act Provision

"What we have seen is an increase in laws at the state level that target the immigrant status of individuals," Vargas said, "and the problem is the way it's applied. People will typically apply those laws upon people they perceive to be foreigners."

Latino voters made up a record 10 percent of the electorate in the November election, and that number is likely to grow. More than 70 percent cast ballots for President Obama, while only about 27 percent voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Since the election, the Republican Party has struggled with how to attract more Latinos. Hispanic Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has gained widespread attention as a driving force behind a Senate immigration-reform framework, and he will also deliver the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address. But aside from Rubio and a handful of other conservative Hispanic lawmakers, the Republican Party is comprised mostly of older, white men. That demographic is shrinking, however. Latinos and other minorities represent a larger share of the electorate each year.

Proponents of the provision say that some in the Republican Party want to deter Latino voters as a way of limiting the number of Democratic votes instead of working to woo more Hispanics to a conservative agenda.

"The case for why it's necessary was made so blatant in the past two years," Vargas said, "that I would say the Supreme Court would have to be truly blind to justice here if it decides that Section 5 is no longer required."

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