If there were ever a plan by the Grand Old Party to win over the Hispanic vote, you can now pretty much kiss that goodbye.
Donald Trump’s latest play-to-the-base move aims to end residency permits for 200,000 Salvadorans who were here under protected status. They have until next year to gain legal status or get out.
The Washington Post’s 202 column put it best:
“A Manchurian Candidate who was secretly trying to alienate Hispanics would be hard pressed to do as much damage to the Republican brand as President Trump.”
“Immigration enforcement arrests are up 40 percent, Trump has slashed the number of refugees allowed into the United States to the lowest level since 1980 and the Justice Department has tried to crack down on “sanctuary cities” during his first year.”
Add to this Trump’s attacks on Puerto Ricans (thousands have moved into swing state Florida), Mexicans (Trump has called them “drug dealers” and “rapists”), and Nicaraguans (Trump is ending their protected status), and you have a volatile voting bloc. For Republicans already looking at a tough midterm fight, good luck finding votes in states with high Latino populations.
As for the Salvadorans, they will be deported to a country that isn’t prepared for such a large influx. From the LA Times:
“This is really bad news for our country,” Nayib Bukele, the mayor of San Salvador, said in a phone interview Monday. “Our country doesn’t create opportunities for the Salvadorans who live here. Imagine what we’re going to do with 200,000 more coming in.”
El Salvador is still a country where hundreds of its citizens still leave every day, mostly for the United States.
And the anti-immigrant politics of Donald Trump shows no sign of slowing down. He continues to insist on building a border wall and the fate of hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers” still hangs in the balance. Trump and congressional leaders are meeting today but the issue could force a government shutdown as soon as next week.
Donald Trump’s GOP has a much different vision than one the party adopted just five years ago after the 2012 election. At that time the party issued a report called the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” which included an extensive outreach to African-American, Asian, Hispanic, gay, and female voters. Hard to imagine that today.