Rep. Harris Complains About Increase In Maryland's Hispanic Population

April 07, 2011 4:01 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Rep. Andy Harris

Speaking to conservative talk radio host Les Kinsolving yesterday, freshman Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) argued that President Obama was working to add millions of illegal immigrants to the voting rolls. Citing data recently released from the Census Bureau, Harris also worried about the increase of the Hispanic population in Maryland, which he called "the sanctuary state of the Northeast." The exchange came during a "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" event sponsored by the controversial anti-immigrant group FAIR.

LES KINSOLVING: Could you tell us what you believe President Obama is up to in regard to how many millions of illegal aliens you estimate are in the United States?

ANDY HARRIS: Well, clearly he wants to add, you know, between 5, 10 million voters to the voter rolls.

KINSOLVING: Ah, yes. That's what I figured.

HARRIS: This is the object of what they're doing. You know, we have heard all the stories of people going, known illegal immigrants going, or people not eligible to vote, go in to get their driver's license and come out with a voter's card. This is the object in the end. And Maryland is just going to be one of those sanctuary states. There was a picture today — I believe it was the Wall Street Journal — that shows where the most rapidly growing Hispanic populations are in the United States. And sure enough, in our section of the country, the largest circle was over Maryland.


HARRIS: We have become a sanctuary — and that's policy like this in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, it's like the policies to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. It's just one policy after another that makes us a sanctuary.


What Harris was likely alluding to is this Wall Street Journal article highlighting census data that shows a rise in the total number of Asian and Hispanic children. Nowhere in the article — or a similar analysis conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center — is the issue of illegal immigration introduced. In fact, as an article from the Washington Post notes, "Many of the new Hispanic residents were born here," and for the first time since the 1960s, "the number of Hispanic births surpassed the number of immigrants."