Authored by J.M. Phelps via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
The support of Hispanic voters at the midterms later this year could prove to be “extremely instrumental” in turning the tide of liberal policies of the current administration, a conservative Hispanic group says.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll published in April, only 26 percent of Hispanic survey participants approved of President Joe Biden’s job performance. This marks the lowest approval rating of any demographic group.
The Epoch Times spoke to Santiago Avila, national vice chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA), who offered a number of reasons why support among Hispanic voters is plummeting.
While Hispanics have historically registered as Democrats, Avila said their values are generally conservative. “[Many Hispanics] grow up being told that Republicans are for the rich and Democrats are for the poor.” What they should understand, he said, is that “Democrats are more liberal, and Republicans are more conservative.”
Having spoken to many different left-leaning Hispanics, Avila said, “they are really beginning to feel like the Democratic party has become too extreme to the point where it’s starting to scare some of them.” Many are beginning to turn away from the Democratic party because “they’re getting vibes of a communist Cuba and socialist Venezuela here in America. “
As a result, Avila said Hispanics are going to be “extremely instrumental” in the upcoming midterm elections. “They are starting to come to the realization that their conservative values are in opposition to what the media has been trying to feed them in favor of Biden and the Democrats.”
RNHA’s National Chairman Ronnie Lucero agreed, pointing to the liberal policies of the current administration as a problem. More often than not, “a lot of changes in policies are reflected against the values of the Hispanic community,” he said.
Lucero said progressive leaders push for abortion and the abolishment of the Second Amendment, for example. “The Hispanic community is very pro-life and does not want a power grab [that restricts the lawful possession of firearms],” he said. “These are issues Hispanics want to speak up, stand up, and be vocal about when it comes time to vote.”
Legal, Not Illegal, Immigration
The topic of immigration is often a prevailing narrative when talking to Hispanics about the policies of any administration, Avila noted. As the son of two immigrants, he wants to see immigration but said it has to be accomplished by the rule of law.
“Illegal immigration puts a burden on the country and both parties are to blame,” Avila said, pointing out that Democrats play with “emotions, sentiments, and pull at the heartstrings” when speaking about the topic. And all the while, he said, too many conservatives are assuming they’re not going to get the Hispanic vote. Yet, he said, former President Donald Trump and his administration were “very effective” at reaching the Hispanic community.
Lucero agreed that illegal immigration is harmful to the country, adding that “a country with open borders is not a country.” Rule of law must be “cherished” and “respected,” he said. “The people who take the wrong process and beat the system must be rejected.”
But for those entering the country legally, Lucero suggested that lawful immigration should be a speedier process. Raising a personal example, he said it took his mother-in-law 15 years to become a U.S. citizen. “The country does need some immigration reform, because access to citizenship should be easier for those coming to the United States to contribute to the country—and love the county,” he said.
Values and the America Dream
While immigration is a hot topic, Avila said, “it’s not the number one topic for the Hispanic community.” He said Hispanics care more about their families and their independence. “We didn’t come into this country to live off of welfare; we’re running away from that.”
Most Hispanics are “chasing the American dream,” according to Avila. Hispanics want the opportunities found in the United States and that’s why many have immigrated to the country.
“We come here, because when you become an American, you get endowed with inherent, unalienable rights that aren’t enjoyed in other countries,” he said. “We want to prosper and live out our values in this great country.”
When it comes time to vote in the midterm election, “one thing about the Hispanic voter is that we stick to our values,” Avila said. “We see ourselves as Americans and our voices will be heard at the voting booth later this year,” he said.
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