Twenty-four-year-old Miriam Cepeda wants to make America great again – by Donald Trump’s standards – and she’s not afraid to say it. In a Texas region where 90 percent of the population is Latino and 70 percent voted for Obama in 2012, she volunteers to campaign for Trump. “Being a Latina and supporting Mr. Donald J. Trump in this democratic stronghold that we live in here in the Rio Grande valley is hard in the sense that I get shot down maybe four [out of] five times, but at the same time it just takes one positive feedback to keep you going.”
She’s not shy about the elephant in the room, either. “Our culture is very machísimo [but she means machista] so that meaning there’s a lot of pride and honor; they will not give into somebody that’s claiming that their race are rapists or criminals.”
“That’s the truth. That’s what the truth is,” she says frankly. “He’s the only candidate that’s been upfront about it. Even though the statistics are there, they will refuse to see them.”
To stand behind his Cinco De Mayo taco bowl fiasco, she held a traditional pachanga with tamales, sangria and – yep – taco salad. The panchanga was packed proving that Cepeda is not the only Trump supporter in the valley. They even proudly shared the Trump piñata they had sitting in the middle of the room. Maybe they didn’t know piñatas usually get the sh*t beat out of them. Or perhaps they did. Part of the whole strategy seems to be unapologetic recognition of people’s feelings of Trump and their opposition to them. It’s so bold we almost admire it. Except, Trump.
Yes, como lo leen. But this should not surprise us in the least. One of the biggest misconceptions that the general population in the United States has is that the Latino population is a unique group with the same political inclinations. However, that is far, far from the truth. The Latino population is very diverse. The United States has enjoyed migration from about every single Latin American country.
These migrants have moved to the United States for all sorts of reasons. Some have escaped guerrilla warfare, others fled communist regimes in Cuba and other countries and therefore align with more conservative candidates who hold a tough stance in international affairs. Other groups have been in the States from way back, when Arizona, New Mexico and other states were actually part of Mexico. Some of these Latino citizens are against immigration, wrongfully accusing new migrants of giving Latinos a bad name. Other Latinos are of course highly involves in activism and human rights issues.
The Latino vote is the Holy Grail of American politics today. Why? Simple: numbers. As USA Today reports: “About 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2020, compared with 30 million eligible black voters, according to the analysis”.
25% of Latinos will likely vote for Trump. The Telemundo poll is raising eyebrows, but how surprising is it really?
The poll was conducted among 1,000 voters and has about 3.4% margin of error either way. The fact that a quarter of respondents would vote for Trump despite his borderline racist stance on immigration might seem like an unexpected revelation, but it shouldn’t be so. We gotta remember that in Florida, for example, some of the most influential groups are Cuban and Venezuelan exiles who despise the left-leaning governments in their countries.
64% of Latinos wanna drive Trump out of the White House.
The poll also revealed that more than half of Latinos want Trump gone, while 11% remain indecisive. This might seem like a big win for Democrats, but the fact that some Latinos will still vote for Trump despite the ICE reign of terror during his administration could also be read as a big win for the former reality TV star.
Women, young people and those living on the West Coast push anti-Trump numbers up.
According to the poll, rejection to Trump among women sits at a 66% (he has never been much of a ladies’ man, particularly after the “grab them by the pussy” episode). 69% of under 50s want to say adiós to POTUS. Tellingly, among those living in the Pacific Coast 70% want him out, perhaps a response to his anti-immigration policies and his jurisdictional war against the state government of California.
57% of Latinos support impeachment and 34% oppose it. This reflects the Latino congressional vote in 2018.
Of course the question in everyone’s mind is if Trump will even run in 2020 or if he will be impeached and removed from office. Of course impeachment is a lengthy and divisive process and we might not find out the political fate of the most powerful country on Earth until way into the election campaign.
But the majority of Latinos want the impeachment process to go ahead, perhaps due to the fact that they come from countries where impunity runs rampant and there are generally no repercussions for alleged instances of corruption. If the 2018 midterm elections were any indication of how Latinos are leaning in the 2020 election, this result reaffirms it.
Among the potential Democratic candidates, Joe Biden takes the lead among Latinos.
The other big question surrounding the election is who on Earth will run opposite Trump in 2020. The Democratic field is still wide open. However, as with national polls that take into account the whole of the population, former Vice President Joe Biden (a key figure in the whole impeachment drama) has the lead among Latinos with 26%, ahead of Bernie Sanders (18%) and Elizabeth Warren (10%). Some sectors of the Latino population are still resistant to the idea of a woman ruling over the Oval Office.
Julián Castro’s numbers among Latinos will surprise you.
Un mísero 2%! Yes, single digits for the one Latino candidate in the race. His campaign never really caught fire and it was perhaps a bit premature. However, we should not rule out a future run given his proven political resilience and his message of hope and inclusive policies. It just wasn’t his time yet.
Will we see more of him? This truly astonishing number comes even as Castro has made Latino engagement a cornerstone of his campaign. As USA Today reports: “Castro has made Latino and immigrant issues a cornerstone of his campaign. His first trip as a presidential candidate this year was to a Latino summit in Puerto Rico, and he has highlighted changes he would make to Trump’s immigration policies”.
Recently, at a Mississippi campaign rally, Trump claimed that there isn’t a tool that exists that can cut through the combination of construction materials used for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. However, this weekend, The Washington Post reported that smugglers are sawing through new sections of Trump’s wall with $100 power tools and simply walking across the border.
Within a matter of minutes, smugglers have been able to saw through the steel and concrete bollards by simply fitting a popular cordless saw with special blades, according to The Washington Post.
Hours before The Washington Post broke its news, Trump told a Mississippi crowd, “It’s a different form of cut.”
It seems as if the Army Corp of Engineers presented Trump with three construction material options. “I did all three,” he boasted to a crowd that exploded with applause. “Because it’s a different form of cut,” he explained, seemingly about the power tool required to cut through all three materials. “It can cut through steel but it can’t through the concrete and then you can’t through the hardened rebar. We got it all.” It’s difficult to say what “it” is referring to because of the lack of descriptive nouns in his language.
Later, Trump doubled down on the reason for “The Wall:” that MS-13 gang members were “not human beings.”
“These gangs are the worst people,” he told the crowd. “These people, they are not human beings. I said that once before and ‘Crazy Nancy Pelosi’ said, ‘How dare you say they’re not human?'” Trump doubled down and bragged for refusing to apologize. “You ever see these people?” he asked the cheering crowd. “And they slice people up with a knife because it’s more painful than using a gun. And then I have to defend myself when I say they’re animals. But you know what? I never changed. I didn’t say, ‘Oh I’d like to apologize, Crazy Nancy.'”
Meanwhile, Joaquin Castro visited the Hispanic Caucus’ ofrenda dedicated to honoring the migrants who have tragically died in U.S. custody.
“We also need see-through,” Trump stated.
Presumably, Trump means to say that he’d like a transparent material that also fortifies the border. “Gotta see whose on the other side. That makes sense, right? Not just concrete,” he expanded. Currently, the most protected border sections have two, 30 feet high fences with a paved road in between. But nearly a dozen U.S. Border agents and administration officials have blown the whistle on Trump’s “virtually impenetrable” wall to The Washington Post, on the condition of anonymity.
There are two methods migrants are using to cross the $10 billion tax-payer funded barriers, says The Washington Post.
Of the two methods reported by The Washington Post, the simpler method relies on the use of the popular household cordless saw. The saw is able to cut through the first layer of steel rebar, ten feet of concrete and a rebar core within a few minutes, engineers told The Washington Post. The bollard is attached to a panel at the top of the “wall,” which, when sawed through, is left dangling, ready to be pushed to the side by a migrant who can now simply walk across the border, according to the Post.
The second method is with a custom made ladder, usually made of rebar, which includes a rope ladder that is released down the other side to descend, says The Washington Post. Once on the other side, the ladder can be easily passed through the space between the bollards, and carried to the second barrier, according to The Washington Post.
Migrant smugglers are tricking CBP officers with putty the paper reported.
An anonymous senior administration official told The Washington Post that while the new bollard system has “significantly increased security and deterrence,” sawing breaches have occurred often enough that CBP officers know how to look out for them. Smugglers, a CBP official admitted to the publication, have an array of strategies to trick CBP officers into bypassing an altered bollard. They might put the bollard back where it was, hoping an agent won’t do a routine boot-kick to test for a breach, an official admitted to the paper. Alternatively, smugglers have also learned to use putty to mask the cut in such a way that it looks like a welding crew had already repaired the bollard, The Washington Post reported.
But those vulnerable spots will soon be fortified with electronic sensors.
The newspaper’s sources say that the saw trick has primarily worked in places where the electronic sensor system isn’t operational just yet. Once powered on, officials claim that it will alert CBP to vibrations that occur when someone is, say, sawing through “The Wall.”
According to CBP, the Trump administration has constructed 76 miles of new border barriers, with another 158 miles under construction. Trump plans to complete 450 miles of border barriers by the end of 2020.