The American presidential elections of 2016 will be more historic for Latinos than ever before now that Latinos are the largest ethnic group, having passed the number of African Americans. Among Republicans, Donald Trump is the likely Republican candidate for president, and therefore his positions and attitudes are the most important for Latinos to evaluate.
Trump voices false charges that “illegal immigrants” have made conditions worse by taking jobs away from Americans and lowering wages by working for less. Millions of people support Trumps call for expelling undocumented workers, even if they have to leave behind their American-born children. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s this writer and his family suffered orders for expulsion during conditions like those today. Donald Trump is in keeping with American practices.
Trump’s thinking ignores the enormous sacrifices and struggles that undocumented workers endure. After paying fat fees to smugglers, they find jobs with less than minimum wages and don’t complain for fear of losing their job. Their costs of living are the same as ours, and yet they manage to wire savings back home to their dependent family, which Trump now wants to tax to fund building the wall. Most workers as aliens are denied social services, and yet they pay usual taxes and suffer deductions for Social Security they will never collect. Indeed, despite prejudice suffered by most immigrant groups in our history, many see that these pioneers are within American tradition: the earlier pioneers came westward, and these today have come northward. Many practical people join in with President Obama who has called Trump’s wall separating Mexico as impractical as well as immoral. Latinos must decide whether they stand by as Trump slanders them and displays disdain for their valuable role in our society.
Both Democratic candidates denounce his prejudice against Latinos, but Senator Bernie Sanders leads Secretary Hilary Clinton when paired one to one against Trump. The distinguished CBS News/NY Times poll reveals Sanders with a 15% point lead over Trump. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Sanders leads all other candidates in approval ratings. Virtually every poll reveals similar findings. As Sanders continues to gain more convention delegates as he did in Wisconsin, his ratings over Trump improve as compared to Clinton.
As a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico I am very concerned that a Trump administration would hurt America’s image abroad, especially in Latin America.
Latino votes can make a difference like never before. In spite of obstacles to avoting established in some states, they must show the courage and diligence to gather the necessary documents to register, and then vote, to claim their rights as American citizens. SOLAMENTE VALE EL QUE VOTA – Only he that votes has value.
Julian Nava was the first Latino to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and the first Latino to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education.Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.