Are both the Democrats and Republicans engaging in mutual suicide by continuing to ignore the pressing needs of America's growing Latino community with regard to immigration? The Guardian reports on March 17 that Latinos are about to become California's largest ethnic group this month.

They will now constitute 39 per cent of the state's total population, edging past white non-Hispanics at 38.8 per cent and moving far ahead of both the Asian American and African American communities.

See: Latinos become California's largest demographic though political clout lags.

As the above headline indicates, the growth in numbers in the Latino communities has yet to translate into proportionate political influence, even though California is hardly the only state with a growing Latino population.

The Guardian describes the Latino electorate as an "awakened giant" (according to the Pew Research Center) which is expected to double within a generation. But nowhere is Latino political weakness more evident than on immigration.

The Guardian asks:

"So why, then, are Latinos taking such a political hammering? Immigration reform, a priority for the community, is flailing in Washington. Meanwhile, the number of people deported under President Barack Obama is set to reach two million next month, far outstripping deportations during the Bush administration."

The article attributes Latino political weakness mainly to the fact that less than half of eligible Latino voters actually vote, compared with two-thirds of both white and African-American voters. Therefore politicians who are only concerned with the next election results tend to ignore them.

But how long can this continue? The Guardian refers to Lionel Sosa, a Republican political analyst, as follows:

"Sosa agreed with Reagan's famous claim that Latinos were Republicans who just didn't know it yet - a reference to their social values and immigrant work ethic - but said both parties were now alienating them. Tea party tinged xenophobia sabotaged GOP outreach, he said. 'Calling illegal workers an alien invasion which brings in third world diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy, that's a turn-off.'"

(One might add that the same disease propaganda was used against Asian immigrants at the time of the Chinese exclusion laws around the turn of the 20th century - have anti-immigrant attitudes really changed that much in over a hundred years?)

But the Democrats have been no better, according to Sosa. The Guardian continues:

"Democrats pocketed Latino votes and took them for granted, said Sosa, but the clock was running out. Twice they voted for Obama and twice they were disappointed. 'That says disrespect.So why vote for his candidates? Come the next election, it's make you want to stay at home.'"

Of course, as The Guardian points out, staying at home would make the problem of both parties ignoring Latino voters even worse. But how much longer can the Obama administration take the votes of Latino US citizens for granted?

One can understand that the Republican party may continue on the road to political extinction in order to avoid losing white votes or having its candidates face primary challenges from Tea Party bigots.

But why is this Democratic administration also continuing to move ahead with record deportations, thereby antagonizing the fastest growing voting group in America, without which Obama would likely never have become president?

Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business and professional immigration law for more than 30 years.

His practice includes H-1B and O-1 work visas, green cards through extraordinary ability or labor certification, and immigration through marriage (opposite sex or same sex), among other cases. His email address is