Vice President Mike Pence is begging Latinos in Florida to vote for Trump even as Trump doubles down on his anti-immigrant agenda.
The Trump campaign is launching its "Latinos for Trump" initiative on Tuesday — just days after Trump vowed to have Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) round up and deport millions of immigrants.
Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Miami for the launch event in hopes of convincing the 2 million Latinos who live in Florida to support Trump's 2020 reelection bid, the Washington Post reports. Pence may be hoping Latino voters ignore Trump's racist anti-immigrant agenda, including his recent call for millions of immigrants to be deported.
"Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in," Trump said on June 18, one week before the "Latinos for Trump" event. In the intervening week, Trump canceled the mass deportation action amidst a growing scandal over horrific conditions in his administration's baby jails.
At one border facility, 250 infants, toddlers, and children were fed uncooked frozen meals and denied the ability to bathe for weeks at a time. One doctor compared the baby jail to a torture facility because the conditions were so horrendous.
Despite Trump's virulently anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies, the Trump campaign is still trying to energize Latino voters. However, polling shows their efforts are far from succeeding.
According to the Post, 56% of Hispanics in Florida want to see a Democrat replace Trump in 2020, compared to only 34% who support Trump's reelection. And Florida is a high-water mark for Trump.
In Texas, the Post reports that 69% of Hispanics prefer a Democrat in 2020, with Trump garnering only 25% support. And in Trump's home state of New York, less than 20% support Trump while 73% prefer a Democrat.
"Make no mistake, Trump and Pence are no friends of the Latino community," Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, who is Latino, wrote Monday in the Miami Herald. "Our nation needs leaders with compassion, but Trump has offered nothing but cruelty and chaos."
According to the Post, Pence and the Trump campaign will try to focus on economic issues and shy away from Trump's anti-immigrant agenda when doing Latino outreach. However, the campaign may face stiff headwinds on those issues, especially in Florida.
The Trump-backed GOP tax scam resulted in more than half a million Floridians paying higher taxes last year, according to data compiled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and posted at the website Trump's Broken Promises.
The richest 1% of Floridians got almost $100,000 from the new law, and wealthy corporations in Florida saw a 13% increase in profits — while wages for working-class Floridians increased by a mere 3%.
Pence and Trump can hold all the rallies they want, but nothing can erase the damage they've done to the Latino community.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.