THE BLOG
11/03/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How Many Mexicans Live In Alaska?

Here's a question for Sarah Palin: How many Mexicans live in Alaska? Or Puerto Ricans? Or Chileans? Or Latinos in general?

Tonight, I threw some search terms through Google but came up with no current data on Alaskan Latinos. However, I did find this 1997 report in the University of California Davis' "Rural Migration News." It says that:

High-paying jobs are luring Mexicans to Alaska. Since 1980, Alaska's Hispanic population has nearly tripled from 9,000 to 25,000. Hispanics now make up 4.2 percent of the state's residents, up from 3.2 percent in 1980.

And the 2006 US Census shows "persons of Hispanic or Latino origin" constituting 5.6 percent of Alaska's total population of 670,053. That is, approximately 37,922 persons of Hispanic or Latino origin lived in Alaska at the time of the 2006 US Census, right around the time when Sarah Palin first arrived on the gubernatorial scene in Juneau. Back then, in the rest of the country, persons of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 14.8 percent of the 299,398,484-strong American population. That's approximately 44,310,975 persons of Hispanic or Latino origin in the United States, or over 66 times greater than the population of Alaska. Or almost 4,531 times greater than the population of Wasilla (9,780).

The 'Barracuda' is in way over her head. Hispanics alone constitute a sea of Americans vastly larger than any she has ever swum, which is why I was not at all surprised that when I typed "Sarah Palin and immigration" into the Google Search bar, I found no statement by Sarah Palin articulating her position on immigration policy. Even on her own campaign website, typing "immigration" into the search bar brought me to a barren digital tundra. Inmigracion? Nada.

Google gets us to "Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan" quickly and features it prominently, because it knows it's probably what we're looking for when we type in either candidate's name and immigration. It brings us to "John McCain on Border Security and Immigration" just as fast, and in the same way. However, McCain's position is not "John McCain and Sarah Palin on Border Security and Immigration." In fact, Palin's name appears nowhere in the statement. She is but a thumbnail en rouge in the header of a blog skin. Are We the Voter to assume that John McCain speaks for Sarah Palin on border security and immigration? Well, if elected, suppose that for whatever reason, John McCain can't speak for Sarah Palin. Suppose President Palin had to speak for herself on immigration policy. What would she say?

We should not have to pry this kind of information from Camp Palin. The American voter -- and in particular, the Hispanic-American voter -- should demand that Sarah Palin articulate her position on immigration policy, and on any other policies she has thus far failed to address. We should tolerate no more quirky, P.T.A. gaffes about makeup and semi-domesticated animals. The economy is collapsing, and Sarah Palin is applying for a job. We the Voters are hiring. Thankfully, she is not the only applicant.