The future of the state, reports the Texas Politics blog at the Houston Chronicle, quoting Rice University's Steve Murdock, "looks bleak" because educational and career achievement among Hispanics is so poor.
"It's basically over for Anglos," Murdock told the paper.
The question is whether Texans have the political will to alter that future. One recent poll says they might.
Hispanics Will Take Over
The Chronicle quotes Murdock's explanation of the problem:
Today's Texas population can be divided into two groups, he said. One is an old and aging Anglo and the other is young and minority. Between 2000 and 2040, the state's public school enrollment will see a 15 percent decline in Anglo children while Hispanic children will make up a 213 percent increase, he said.
The state's largest county — Harris — will shed Anglos throughout the coming decades. By 2040, Harris County will have about 516,000 fewer Anglos than lived in the Houston area in 2000, while the number of Hispanics will increase by 2.5 million during the same period, Murdock said. The projection assumes a net migration rate equal to one-half of 1990-2000.
And within 30 years, the number of white children in the state's public schools will drop from about a third to 20 percent.
That does not bode well for the state's economic future, the demographer told the paper, because Hispanics are less educated and poorer than whites, or "Anglos," as the paper calls them.
The state's future looks bleak assuming the current trend line does not change because education and income levels for Hispanics lag considerably behind Anglos, he said.
Unless the trend line changes, 30 percent of the state's labor force will not have even a high school diploma by 2040, he said. And the average household income will be about $6,500 lower than it was in 2000. That figure is not inflation adjusted so it will be worse than what it sounds.
"It's a terrible situation that you are in. I am worried," Murdock said.
Bright Spot In Poll
The Chronicle also reports that 6 percent of the population of Texas is illegal. Regardless of the origin of its Hispanic population, it appears as if the reconquista for which radical Mexican activists yearn may well come to pass, bringing with it diminished prosperity.
Yet voters in Texas are ready to start fighting back, at least on the immigration front.
The Texas Tribune reports on a new poll, conducted by the Tribune and the University of Texas, showing that 53 percent of voters want to end birthright citizenship for American-born illegal immigrants. Birthright citizenship describes the legal proposition that a person is an American citizen if he is born here, regardless of the parents' immigration status.
Conservatives argue against that position, saying that because illegal immigrants are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government, their children do not receive citizenship upon birth.
The New American reported on the subject a few months ago when two lawmakers in Arizona introduced legislation to define citizenship.
Other findings in the poll show that voters strongly support controlling illegal immigration. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents oppose the establishment of "sanctuary" cities where illegal immigrants can hide with the collaboration of local officials and police who refuse to help the federal government enforce immigration policy.
And 70 percent "strongly support" fining businesses that hire illegals and requiring them to check the immigration status of applicants, while 55 percent "strongly support" a mandate that police check the immigration status of those they arrest. Another 17 percent "somewhat support" fines on employers and requiring them to check immigration status, while another 15 percent "somewhat support" a mandate for police to check the status of suspects.
So 87 percent and 70 percent of those polled support tough sanctions on employers and giving police the power to help federal immigration authorities.
Nearly 60 percent of those polled believe the children of illegals should not receive in-state tuition, while 55 percent somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a "pathway to citizenship" for illegal immigrants.
Photo: Dr. Steve Murdock, Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, Rice University