Things That Matter

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

Like most other American families, Latino-American families can be home to a wide range of differing political opinions, leaving family members on each side of the aisle appalled with each other’s opposite opinions. You might be a liberal trying to understand how your brown, immigrant mami is walking around in a MAGA hat, or you might be just as pleased as we are that the Latino vote is finally being more closely examined. Either way, The Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston has given a home to Professor Rottinghaus and co-author Rudy Fonseca, who just published a study complete with answers to all your questions.

Myth #1: “Latinos are Natural Democrats…but it Ain’t Happening in Texas”

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

Tejanos are more likely to be registered Republicans than Latinos in other states. Twenty-seven percent of Tejanos identified as Republican, compared to 21 percent of Latinos in all other states during a 2014 Gallup poll. That said, the study reports that “divisive rhetoric and harsh immigration policies has
led many to hit the alarm.” As of September 2019, Trump has a 24 percent approval rating among Latinos, compared with an average of 30 percent to 35 percent of the Latino vote typically given to Republicans.

Bottom line: The majority of Latino-Americans identify with the Democratic party, but about a third of us identify as Republican.

Myth #2: “Latinx Republicans Must Be Less Conservative than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

This myth is also pretty close to the truth, but it’s not the whole story. While Latino Republicans are more likely to identify as “somewhat conservative” than Republicans as a whole, it doesn’t mean they fall right in the middle of the political spectrum. An October 2016 Texas Tribune poll illustrated that Latino Republicans are far less likely to identify as “extremely conservative” than their Republican counterparts as a whole. 

Bottom line: Latino Republicans are slightly less conservative than Republicans as a whole, but are still squarely Republican. Rottinghaus’s study notes that the party is likely to lose Latino voters if they continue to lean more extremely to the right. 

Myth #3: “Latinx Republicans Are Moderating Recently As Republican Party
Rhetoric Grows more Conservative”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

Myth #2 brings us straight to myth #3. Latino Republicans are growing more conservative over time. Another Texas Tribune poll just two years later showed that 27 percent of Latino Republicans are now identifying as “extremely conservative,” as compared to 19 percent just two years prior.

The same poll broke down some differences of opinion. When it comes to deportation, border security, trade negotiations, and judicial nominees, Latino Republicans were less in favor of Trump’s tactics than other Republicans. They were also 18 percent less likely to feel that “Trump cares about people like you” than the Republican party as a whole.

Bottom line: The myth is true. Latino Republicans are more moderate compared to the Republican party at large. 

Myth #4: Latinos are Culturally Conservative, And This is the Only Reason They
Support the Republican Party

Credit: @LaRepublicana86 / Twitter

The study concludes what we all already knew. If you had to genuflect in front of a Jesus painting at the entrance of your house, that (i.e. religion) plays a “major role” in choosing the Republican party. Those religious values that determine pro-life and anti-gay marriage political beliefs strongly swing a Latino’s choice of party. 

Bottom line: Of course, cultural beliefs are not the “only reason” Latinos might become Republicans. Homeowners and Latinos who have established roots in the U.S. for several generations are more likely to support the Republican party. Men are also more likely than Latinas to identify as Republican. The higher the income, the higher the probability a Latino might identify as a Republican.

Myth #5: “Latinx Republicans are “Softer” On Illegal Voting and Immigration
Than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

The study concludes that while Latino Republicans, in fact, are “softer” on these issues than other Republicans, the one area that sets them apart is deportation. A Texas Tribune 2016 poll showed 19 percent of Latino Republicans “strongly agreed” that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” compared to 35 percent of all Republicans. 

Bottom line: When it comes to immigration, Latino Republicans don’t see it as such a serious threat as other Republicans, but that gap is beginning to close. The 2018 Texas Tribune poll showed a nearly 15 percent rise in general opinion that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” and the gap between Latino Republicans and the party as a whole has closed by 2 points.

Myth #6: Latinos Don’t Feel Welcome in the Republican Party

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

The Houston study completely debunked this myth, finding that 61 percent of Latinx Republicans do feel welcome in the Republican party, compared to 68% of all Republicans. They might not feel as welcome as other Republicans, but the majority do feel welcome.

Bottom line: While Latino-Republicans feel welcome in their own party as a whole, only 22 percent of them feel the Republican party is “doing a good job” in reaching out to Latinos, according to the study. “The “sleeping giant” is real: Latinos are predicted to become
the largest population group in Texas by 2022,” the study concludes. If immigration is where Latino Republicans have differing views, the continued focus on deportation in the 2020 campaign could cause Latino Republicans to feel even less welcome in their own party.

Trump Issued An Executive Order Allowing States To Refuse Refugees And It Might Be A Step Too Far Even For Republicans

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Trump Issued An Executive Order Allowing States To Refuse Refugees And It Might Be A Step Too Far Even For Republicans

@EqualityNow / Twitter

The Trump administration has had a few tug-of-wars with city and state governments. The dimes y diretes in which POTUS and former Californian governor Jerry Brown are now legendary, for example. However, so far Trump’s administration has had a very smooth sailing with Republican incumbents, who even if they didn’t fully agree with POTUS, would follow directives from the White House.

However, a recent development has made some pundits believe that certain Republican governors have had enough and might be breaking ranks with the president when it comes to the highly contested issue of refugee migration policies. Whether this is an honest act of compassion or a political move in face of this years elections remains to be seen, but the fact is that Trump’s isn’t always the last word even in red states. 

So, Trump gave an executive order that allows local and state governments to block refugee resettlements.

Credit: @TheNation / Twitter

Yes, this is a continuation of the Trump administration’s harsh (and some argue, cruel) stance on migration issues. Detention centers, family separations, privately-run companies that are put in charge of the welfare of vulnerable populations… the list goes on and on. There has been wide criticism for the executive order and three refugee resettlement agencies have sued the Trump administration – the agencies are HIAS, a Jewish nonprofit, Church World Service and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.

But there are plenty of states that will continue to accept refugees, even some governed by Republicans.

Credit: Axios

This graphic, published in Axios, shows the states that have established that they will continue accepting refugees. These local and state governments are unwilling to block the resettlement of people who have escaped danger in their home countries and gone through the stringent and tortuous process of becoming a United States refugee, a status that is very, very hard to obtain.

Those who apply for this status are put under the microscope and have to undergo seemingly endless bureaucratic processes that guarantee that their claim is indeed valid under the law. This means that successful applicants were in the riskiest situations imaginable.

Just this week, the Republican governors of Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Nebraska wrote letters to the State Department or stated loud and clear that they would continue to accept refugees. Some key states haven’t stated their decision yet and promise to be battlegrounds for opposing political views. Texas, for example, has a very conservative governor on Greg Abbott, but many of its cities, such as Austin, have more progressive majors. 

Refugee resettlement is often seen as a tool to obtain goodwill both domestically and internationally, and history has seen plenty of bipartisan efforts to guarantee it.

There is a push against this executive order. As The Washington Post reports, even conservative states like Utah want to continue receiving refugees and even increase their numbers. Governor Gary Herbert, who aligns with Donald Trump on most issues, wrote a letter to the president stating: “”We empathize deeply with individuals and groups who have been forced from their homes and we love giving them a new home and a new life”. He added that newcomers become “productive employees and responsible citizens”. 

Trump’s position is unprecedented: even Ronald Reagan was proud of the refugee resettlement program.

As The Washington Post also notes: “From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president in recent decades had sought to bolster the program, identifying it as a way to generate goodwill and prestige internationally while strengthening bonds in communities at home.”

Refugees are a key element of American multiculturalism. From the pilgrims in the Mayflower escaping religious persecution to migratory waves of Jewish, Italian and Polish refugees during and after World War II, the United States has been accomodating to those in despair. The recent move from Trump’s White House can lead us to believe that the executive order could potentially have ethnic or racial connotations given the Brown and Black background of those seeking a refugee status today. 

Trump has already cut the number of annual arrivals to 18,000, a record low.

Just picture this. In a rally he mentioned Somali refugees and the crows began to boo. He then said that he would order the executive decision, something that no other president would do. He got that right: no one else would do it. He seems to be catering for his core base, as the WP further reports: ” He has repeatedly attacked refugees, suggesting they may be a “Trojan horse” intent on violence or a Muslim takeover”. This is just not true and only echoes the sentiments and rhetoric of far-right politics 

7 Undocumented Workers Were Fired From A Virginia Trump Winery After The Harvest Was Over

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7 Undocumented Workers Were Fired From A Virginia Trump Winery After The Harvest Was Over

trumpwinery / Instagram

In 2018, vineyards in Virginia had an unfortunate season. The area experienced too much rain. Local winemakers called it the “toughest” season in the past two decades and that the harsh weather made it, so they produced less wine because so many grapes were lost. This season, however — because climate change has brought forth such unpredictable weather forecasts —  Virginia vineyards had a very successful season. With such a positive harvest, one would assume that vineyard workers would get some kind of bonus. Instead, they got fired.

Seven undocumented employees that worked at a Trump Virginia winery were fired before the end of the year because they were not U.S. citizens. 

Credit: @kylegriffin1 / Twitter

The Washington Post reports that the firing came at the end of December, before the start of 2020, which is odd timing considering other undocumented employees at other Trump properties almost a year ago. 

Back at the start of 2019, undocumented employees that worked at a Trump golf course in New Jersey were fired for lack of documentation to work in the U.S. So far, most of the workers that were fired back then said that the higher-ups, including President Donald Trump and his children who own the properties, were aware that they had undocumented workers on their payroll. Even then, the firings were odd, considering the president has been on an anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, and anti-undocumented agenda since before his election. Yet all of the firings, even the most recent ones, seem to come when it’s most convenient for the company. 

The undocumented workers were fired at the end of the harvest season when they had completed their work on the vineyard. 

Credit: @swimmerbr78 / Twitter

Workers told the Washington Post that while they had anxiety about losing their jobs all year, especially after other undocumented employees at other properties were fired. But work went on as usual at the vineyard. The workers also report that earlier in December, Eric Trump, who is listed as the president of some of the Trump properties, visited the vineyard and was very gracious to his employees. The Post was in touch with several of the undocumented employees for months prior to their firing. 

“He gave me his hand,” Omar Miranda, one of the employees that was fired, recalled to the Post about Eric’s visit. Miranda had won a raffle, and Eric shook his hand and added, “Eric is like a co-worker.” Then, a couple of weeks later, he was fired. 

The workers said that Trump, his family, and management knew exactly what they were doing when they waited to fire them after the grape season had ended. 

Credit: @CalawayJaneen / Twitter

“They didn’t make this decision in the summer because they needed us a lot then,” Miranda told the Post. Another employee said, “I think they wanted to get their product out well, the grapes, to make sure that was taken care of, and once things were slow, they could fire us all.”

The publication asked the Trump organization about why they waited so long to fire these undocumented employees, and their statement was the same as it was last year when they fired employees at the golf course: “Consistent with our efforts, we will immediately terminate any individual who has provided fake identification in order to unlawfully gain employment.” 

People on social media expressed their anger over the timing of this firing as well as Trump’s treatment of their undocumented workers. 

Credit: @CMCRET / Twitter

Chef José Andrés tweeted, “Mr. ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ why instead of firing them 3 years into your presidency, you pass immigration reform, giving #DREAMers and undocumented the place in the USA they deserve?”

“Not only are trump companies still employing undocumented immigrants, they hold off firing them in order take advantage of their labor as long as possible,” another tweeted. “He has no shame.”

As we noted earlier, this season Virginia experienced one of the best grape seasons in years. So it makes sense management didn’t want to fire employees until after the harvest to take advantage of the booming business. 

Credit: @EdHull8 / Twitter

“You have the perfect alignment of rainfall, sun, wind, weather, to where the quality of your grapes are the highest you’ve seen in a really long time,” Winemaker Emily Pelton told WHSV3 News.

Perhaps if the season had been a washout as it was in 2018, the undocumented employees would have been fired earlier in the year. We guess there’s always a silver lining. 

READ: With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided