Friday, May 24, 2024

New Conservative Initiative Seeks to Attract Latinos to the Right

The American Principles Project, a conservative group, has announced a new initiative to promote their movement to Hispanics by emphasizing their traditional social values.  The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles will work to woo Hispanics toward the right while simultaneously pushing conservatives to change their attitude toward immigration reform, thus tapping into the great political potential of the growing Hispanic demographic.

While Latinos have traditionally been more inclined to vote Democrat, Republicans have lost significantly more ground in garnering support from Republicans in the last few elections.  Henry Bonilla, a former Republican congressman from Texas whose district ran along the Mexican border, won seven straight elections by managing to court Latino votes; but in 2006 he was defeated by a Democrat.

“If you don’t go out and bring more Hispanics to our party, the math isn’t there to win, no matter what the other side does,” said Bonilla, who has stressed his position to the Republican leadership. “If they’re too blind to recognize that, it’s their own selves doing them in.”

“We believe that it is time that the conservative movement proactively and intelligently reach out to Latinos, because we believe strongly that Latinos are conservative, that Latino values are conservative values,” said Alfonso Aguilar, a spokesman for the partnership.

Hispanic advocacy groups recognize that many of their constituents have more traditional social values, but they are skeptical about the Right’s ability to adopt an appealing immigration stance.  Many Republicans “have used the issue in a way that has demonized the Latino community,” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns at the National Council of La Raza.  A study by America’s Voice, an immigration reform organization, supports the apprehension of those who believe the immigration debate will trump social issues when it comes to recruiting Hispanics.  According to their statistics, 82 percent of Hispanics said the immigration issue is “very important” or “somewhat important,” and 69 percent reported they personally knew an undocumented immigrant.

The movement views itself as necessary to ensure the expansion of the conservative movement in the U.S.  By educating conservatives about Hispanic social values, and stressing the lack of progress made by Democrats on the issue of immigration reform, the Latino Partnership hopes to demonstrate a convergence of interests for the Right and Latinos.

The Washington Times

The Washington Post