DALLAS — Texas’s Republican lawmakers released their first draft of a new congressional map on Monday, and their proposal was called unconstitutional and illegal by minority advocates.
Texas’s huge population gains over the last decade are due in large part to a 95% increase in minority residents. Yet, according to the Texas Tribune, the map proposed by Texas Republicans would increase the number of white majority congressional districts and decrease the number of Hispanic and Black majority districts.
“Texas is changing and Republicans in Texas – especially those in senate and congress – need to accept that they have to allow for adequate representation for our communities,” said LULAC national president and Dallas resident Domingo Garcia.
Garcia, a former state representative, called the map released Monday unconstitutional.
In Texas, the district boundaries are drawn by politicians themselves, and the party that holds power has the final say on the map.
The Republicans' proposal would increase the number of congressional districts that voted for former president Donald Trump from 22 to 25. The number of districts that voted for President Biden would drop from 14 to 13.
The Texas Tribune reports that Texas currently has 22 congressional districts with a majority of white voters; eight are Hispanic majority and one is Black majority. According to the Tribune’s reporting, the proposed new boundary lines increase the number of white majority districts to 23, lower the number of Hispanic majority districts to seven, and take away the state’s only Black majority congressional district.
The state’s demographer said in August he expected Houston and Dallas to get the two new congressional seats allocated to the state based on census data. But, the Republican plan adds those seats to Austin and Houston.
Garcia said the map makers broke up the North Texas metro area’s skyrocketing Latino population and “packed them into African American districts to disenfranchise Latino voters.”
Those districts are already represented by Democrats, Garcia said.
The minority voters removed from competitive districts are being replaced by more traditionally conservative voters in rural areas, he said.
“It’s being done to protect incumbents and at the expense of Latino voters being able to elect a candidate of their choice,” Garcia said.