Friday, May 24, 2024

Latino Republicans Concerned with Trump’s Immigration Plan

On Wednesday, the White House announced its support for a new immigration overhaul proposal that will reduce legal immigration over the next 10 years by half through massive restrictions on who enters the country. Latino Republicans are expressing concerns over the perils of Trump’s hardline position, claiming it will have repercussions for not only him but the rest of the party.

“I don’t want to say Hispanics vote exclusively on immigration, that’s not true, but it does hurt him with the Hispanic community,” said Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, who yanked his support for Trump after a particularly hard-edged immigration speech last August but has since often emphasized areas of agreement with the administration. “It goes beyond the Hispanic community. It’s what our country is all about.”

While Trump’s hardline position on immigration did not stop him from garnering 19 percent support from the Latino community, only slightly better than Romney’s number in the exit polls, his stance still put him behind John McCain’s 31 percent standing, and as well as behind George W. Bush’s 44 percent in 2004. Juan Hernandez, McCain’s presidential campaign Hispanic outreach director, believes Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric will make it increasingly difficult for Latinos to jump in as Republicans.

“We were doing very well getting Hispanics to run for office in the last decade, six years, but I know many would tell me, ‘Look, how can I run with a big R on me, when the president is a Republican and is insulting my family, my friends from the south, and the values we’ve held related to NAFTA, related to hard work?’” said Juan Hernandez.

A number of Latino Republicans believe Trump could earn goodwill among Latinos if he were to support the DREAM Act, however the White House has demonstrated very little interest in helping young DREAMers obtain a pathway to legal status. Republicans have traditionally underperformed in heavily Latino counties, and this new proposal will not help Republicans garner support from Latinos in the slightest.

Greenfield Recorder