The votes (almost all) have been counted, the pundits have spoken, and history has been made: Immigrants were the not-so-back story of the 2012 elections. Seventy-three percent of Asian and 71 percent of Latino voters cast their ballots for President Obama. The impact these communities had on choosing the president is the main plot. But the size of the Asian and Latino electorate — 3 percent and 10 percent of this election's voters, respectively — also offers another subplot: the election of immigrant candidates to Congress and to state legislatures around the country.
More than 80 candidates from immigrant communities ran in 2012, and the election saw four Arab-Americans, 10 Asian-Americans, one Caribbean-American, and 30 Latinos win their congressional races. One race, in California's 7th Congressional District, remains too close to call, and might increase the number of Asian-American victories to 11. And in Louisiana's 3rd District, a December runoff might result in one additional Arab-American Congress member.
Although the numbers still leave major gaps in representation, the victors established many firsts for immigrant communities. Of the 10 Asian-Americans who are confirmed winners, four broke new ground.