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Proposed Texas redistricting map lacks minority representation

The U.S. Census reported that 95% of Texas' population growth came from minorities. However, many feel the Latino vote is being diluted.

TEXAS, USA — Luis Guerrero is one of many Latinos who moved to the U.S. from Central America. 

"I was born and raised in northern Mexico in a town called Monterrey," he said.

Like Guerrero, millions also came to Texas searching for their next opportunity. The U.S. Census reported that people of color make up 95% of Texas's population growth. While the Hispanic population is growing, Guerrero said they're not represented fairly.

"Have less, fewer advocates who are pushing legislation that would address some of our most pressing issues, such as immigration, such as addressing the the the gap in health care coverage among Latinos," Guerrero added. 

As lawmakers work to redraw maps of congressional districts, current proposals dilute the Latino vote even more. 

"Since Hispanics tend to vote Democrat," said Robert Ballinger, South Texas College political science chair. "Republican-drawn map is not going to really benefit Hispanics in terms of representation."

Ballinger then clarified whether this is legal or not. 

"Supreme Court has upheld that it's illegal to draw district lines specifically designed to disadvantage a specific minority," he added. "But the Supreme Court has said that it's perfectly legal to draw lines to disadvantage a particular political party."

Ballinger said, in some cases, the complaint went to court, and if they can argue the lines create a disadvantage for people of color, they have to be redrawn. 

On Thursday, a special committee met in the Texas Senate to discuss redistricting. Tarrant County Commissioner Devan Allen doesn't agree with the proposed maps. 

"You're drawing maps that intentionally discriminate against my constituents,"  she said. "It's wrong and egregious. More colloquially speaking, it's a hot mess."

"Communities of color are being forced to vote in districts controlled by predominantly white communities that don't share their interests," added Guerrero. 

Hays County between Austin and San Antonio experienced the most growth, and their population nearly doubled. With all this growth, Allen and Guerrero's concern is making sure minorities have a voice. 

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