America's Voice En Español »
One year ago this month we saw the height of Donald Trump’s contempt for Latinos when he deported Jorge Ramos from a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa.
His offense? Trying to ask Trump a question about immigration.
“Sit down!” Trump boomed while ignoring Ramos’s query about how he would deport 11 million undocumented immigrant from the US, finally snarling “Go back to Univision!” before a Trump bodyguard physically shoved Ramos out of the venue.
Outside, an unnamed Trump supporter confronted the journalist. “You were very rude. Get out of my country. Get out–”
“This is my country–I’m a U.S. citizen too,” Ramos replied.
“Well, whatever. Univision–whatever,” the man shot back.
Ramos had already been a highly-respected figure for millions of Spanish-speakers in the Americas, and the confrontation with Trump helped make him a household name for English-speakers. By the next year, Fortune had even declared him one of its 50 World’s Greatest Leaders for 2016 for his relentless journalism.
But more importantly, the incident came to represent the final brick in the symbolic wall Latinos built between themselves and Trump. His initial remarks that Mexican immigrants are criminals and “rapists” were reprehensible; the eviction of Ramos was the final slap in the face.
Since the Iowa incident, Trump has continued to ignore Ramos’s repeated requests for an interview. When Ramos received a letter from the Trump campaign marked “personal” last month, he initially thought the Presidential nominee had finally conceded the fact that he would need to answer questions around his unworkable immigration plans.
The letter turned out to be a bumper sticker and general request for a donation.
“What is clear is that Donald Trump does not want to speak to us,” Ramos said yesterday. “And for one year, one year, we have been asking him for an interview, and up until the only answer that we have gotten from Donald Trump is ‘no.'”
In the meantime, Trump has been attempting to soften up his language around immigration without actually changing any of his extreme stances on it. Some in the media have fallen for it, but Latinos are a different story.
They’ll remember Jorge Ramos too.