Sunday, July 21, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Now Is The Time To Register And Vote


After the primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire things are clear, these elections are very important to define the future of this country. Since the beginning of this election cycle there has been a very dangerous dialogue going on within the Republican Party in which candidates for the presidential nomination continue their odyssey of demonizing communities of color, not only Latinos but also African Americans, Asian-Americans, Muslims, members of the gay community, and basically anyone who thinks differently than their base.

The Republican Party has been effective in scaring voters in this country for a long time. Their scare tactics largely consist of dangerous generalizations and perpetuate negative stereotypes of our communities. When Congressman Steve King, the head of Ted Cruz’s campaign in Iowa, says “for every child of illegal immigrants who is a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” This is dangerous. When Donald Trump says the only thing that comes across the border with Mexico are criminals and rapists, or you need to prohibit entry to the country to all Muslims, this is dangerous.

These fear tactics are working. Just look at Donald Trump’s victory in last Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. He not only won, but did so by a large margin. We learned from exit surveys of Republican voters that 66% of them are in favor of forbidding all Muslims to enter the country. We also learned that 54 % of GOP voters’ number one issue was immigration and that their vote went to Donald Trump. It is worrisome because their proposals to address our broken immigration system is just the opposite of what our community needs.

Thanks to the vitriolic Republican rhetoric voters see our community as criminals. They are also in favor of spending money on a wall at the border with Mexico and separating families who just want to live in and contribute to this great country they call home. These solutions will not only affect the personal welfare of many members of the undocumented community, but also come with huge financial risk that will affect everyone’s pockets. Let’s not forget that even if immigration reform were approved tomorrow, it would inject more than $ 1.5 billion into the US economy thanks to the contributions by immigrants.

My friends, it’s time to say enough! When it comes to demonizing, insulting, and lying about our community and all communities of color in this country. It’s time to step up, get out and vote, and show our electoral strength at the polls. Our electoral potential is huge. Together we can achieve victory with candidates who represent us the way we deserve. Yes we can!

This article originally appeared in the Washington Hispanic