Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant speech last night might’ve earned cheers from the likes of Ann Coulter and David Duke, but in battleground states where Latinos and immigrants will help decide who occupies the White House next year, it’s a whole different story.
Donald Trump’s 10-point speech on immigration drew a steady chorus of groans and laughter from a watch party of about 40 people inside the Las Vegas offices of For Nevada’s Future, a progressive political group.
“Trump’s America is not what I signed up for,” said Leo Murrieta, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen who arrived in Las Vegas from Mexico when he was a week old. “He demonizes and dehumanizes us.”
Francisco Morales, the Nevada director for the Center for Community Change Action and Immigrant Voters Win, called Trump’s speech “not feasible” and “hateful” rhetoric.
“These are impulsive, emotionally driven points. They’re not real policy,” Morales said. “Today he furthered alienated us immigrants who were looking for a solution in him. I was hoping for a detailed policy speech. Something I could analyze and really study well.”
Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric has not only irrecoverably damaged his standing among Nevada Latinos — 87% say they have either a “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable opinion of the Republican nominee — but their opinion of the Republican Party as well.
In a recent survey, 80% of Nevada Latinos said that Trump’s views on immigrants and immigration made them less likely to vote Republican. This could spell disaster for Republicans, who cannot afford to take a single battleground state for granted as Trump plummets in polling.
In the state, Latino voter turnout has significantly increased from 15% in 2008, to 18% in 2012. 2016 could yield the largest Latino vote share in Nevada’s history.
Earlier this year, leading organizations in the state announced a historic, multi-million dollar, immigration-based electoral campaign that will reach out to more than 120,000 Latino and AAPI (Asian and American Pacific Islander) voters.
“I came here to look for a better life with my family,” said Murrieta in a must-watch video from the Las Vegas Review Journal below, “and today what I heard is that I’m not welcome in this country.”