With the upcoming midterm elections approaching, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is confident that President Joe Biden's missteps in Latin America will lead many Hispanic voters to vote for the GOP.
Hispanic Director of Communications for the RNC, Jaime Florez, told LPO, "The RNC is concerned that the Democratic Party's leftist and most radical wing is exerting a lot of influence, with individuals such as Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Alexandra Ocasio-CortÃ©s, Rashida Tlaib and others."
"In their international relations agenda, they do not want to criticize left-wing governments, particularly Cuba. The Biden administration has made a lot of noise about these regimes, but in practice there has been very little action when it comes to confronting leftist regimes. His foreign policy is weak." he added.
In the 2020 presidential elections, former President Donald Trump earned 28 percent of Latino votes in 2016 and approximately 32 percent in 2020. He was able to expand his support not only in southern Florida, where many conservative Cuban Americans live, but also among different Latinos communities across the country-in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
"We see the Hispanic vote as much more complex than simply saying all Hispanics vote the same. We are so diverse that we often say the 'Latino vote' doesn't really exist," stated Florez. "Democrats believe that the Latinos vote is a monolith."
In several states, the idea that democrats are socialists resonated with many Latinos whose families had fled leftist-controlled governments in Latin America.
"We believe that most of the people who come from Latin American countries are fleeing the failure of leftist policies like in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, and to a certain extent, the Workers' Party in Brazil," said Florez.
"The last thing Latinos want to support is leftist tendencies in the United States that could lead to the same failures their countries of origin suffered. So that's the message we want to communicate."
The former Hispanic Communications Director for Senator Rick Scott continued, "Most Latinos think this way. If we wanted to live in a communist regime, we would have stayed in Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua. It would not have been necessary for us to come to the United States."
"We want to live here because we can offer opportunities and a better future for our families. And we can do that precisely because the capitalist economic model of the United States has allowed us to do that throughout centuries."
The RNC is using this strategy to build upon the support it received from the Hispanic community in 2020. Biden won the Latino vote in Texas and Florida. But in Texas, 41 percent to 47 percent of Hispanic voters backed Trump in several heavily Latino border counties in the Rio Grande Valley region, a Democratic stronghold. In Florida, Trump won 45 percent of the Latino vote, an 11-point improvement from his 2016 performance.
Florez also said that the RNC believes the Biden administration's immigration policy has been "disastrous" and "extremely worrisome, particularly because it created a humanitarian crisis of great proportions. Those are the consequences of having a leftist policy that supports open borders."
"More than 200 thousand people per month have arrived over the last four or five months, many of them are unaccompanied minors. This has created a real crisis at the border."
Recent polling of Latino voters by the Immigration Hub found that in key battleground states and districts, immigration ranks as a top priority among Latino voters, coming in second to addressing the coronavirus pandemic and ahead of several other issues (27% v. 36%).
The results also make clear that there can be significant electoral consequences for Democrats and the president if they do not deliver on their proposed immigration policies.
"We believe that this is a country of immigrants, but it has been a country of immigrants who have come legally, in an organized way," said the Hispanic Communications Director.
As an immigrant that experienced firsthand the difficulties of attaining US citizenship, Florez stated, "The RNC believes that one of the most important things that need to be done before we receive more immigrants is to grant citizenship to those who have already started their processes, have already paid for their immigration rights, and have been waiting for years because the immigration system doesn't work."
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