Last night, Latino voters and undocumented immigrants gathered in cities across North Carolina to watch Trump‘s coronation and discuss their plans to turnout Latinos in record numbers this November to defeat his xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda.
Though Trump’s rhetoric was no surprise, the seventy-five minute diatribe that equated undocumented immigrants with murderers, scapegoated immigrants for all of America’s supposed ills, and was peppered with chants from the mostly white crowd of “Build the Wall,” made it clear that Latino and immigrant communities must stand up and fight back with their vote in November.
The watch parties were hosted by Si a las Licencias, NC in Raleigh and ActionNC in Charlotte.
According to Latino Decisions, 59% of national Latino voters have a family member, friend, co-worker, or other acquaintance who is an undocumented immigrant. Clearly, the Latino community is deeply interwoven and find Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda to be extremely offensive and outrageous, regardless of their immigration status.
Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday night will only exacerbate his problem with Latino voters. According to a recent Latino Decisions and America’s Voice poll, Trump’s support among Latino voters is at a record low of 16%. Given the slim margins in North Carolina, where President Obama won the state in 2008 by only 14,177 votes and Romney won in 2012 by only 2%, the approximately 150,000 registered Latino voters in North Carolina are poised to make the difference in November if they can turn their outrage into record turnout in November.
Below are quotes from participants in last night’s events:
Rogelio Reyes, community organizer, Action NC said, “Now that he has been nominated, I feel angry. The people that have nominated him are heartless and have no idea what undocumented families face every day as they fight to build a better life for their children.”
Mirthela Villanueva, Si a las Licencias, NC said, “As a naturalized citizen, I will vote this year thinking of all immigrants and refugees, as well as my family, neighbors, and friends that do not have the ability to vote and have been attacked by the Republican candidate, Donald Trump. He must not reach the White House and the Latino vote will stop him because though he will never recognize it, the Latino community is a force to be reckoned with and the engine of our economy.”
Fabiola Velazquez León, DACA recipient in Charlotte, NC said, “These elections have a huge impact for me as a DACA recipient and a single mother of five children. Because of DACA, I have the ability to work and provide for my family and I am very concerned about what would happen to us if Trump were elected.”
Silvia Sanchez, Board member, ActionNC said, “It was important for me to organize this event because it will educate people how to fight for our families, how to register people to vote, and inspire our community to be tireless in our efforts to make sure Latinos turn out to vote in record numbers this November.”