Latino voters wonder: Which Hillary should we believe?
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE's ugly rhetoric and record on immigration are well known to Latino voters in this country. From the start of his campaign for President he has made it explicitly clear just how terrible a Trump administration would be for our community. What isn't so clear, is what type of President Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Why the national emergency? A second term may be Trump’s only shield from an indictment MORE would be for the Latino community.

Since Hillary Clinton launched her most recent campaign for President, it would be hard to argue that she hasn't said all the right things when it comes to reaching out to the Latino community on the issue of immigration. The problem is, however, that Hillary Clinton's recent rhetoric does not match her long record.

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The truth about what has motivated this change is nothing short of pure politics. When it was political advantageous for Hillary to be against a humane immigration policy — she was. Now that it is politically advantageous for her to be in favor of a more humane immigration policy — she is.

For Latinos in this country this is a serious problem. Which Hillary are we supposed to believe?

Are we to believe the Hillary Clinton from this campaign who said she would “go even further” than President Obama has in granting legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants? Promising to extend the protections President Obama gave to so-called DREAMers to their parents.

Are we to believe the Hillary Clinton who spoke so eloquently in her acceptance speech about the need for comprehensive immigration reform? The one that is promising to introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office?

Are we to believe the Hillary Clinton that is vowing to allow all Americans — regardless of their immigration status - buy healthcare through the Affordable Care Act?

Or are we to believe the other Hillary Clinton, the one who many argue is the real Hillary?

The one that in 1994, told Congress “we do not think that comprehensive health care benefits should be extended to illegal aliens”.

Or the one that in 2004, told a New York radio station that she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants” and that “people need to stop employing illegal immigrants”.

Or the one in 2006, that voted numerous times to build a fence across the U.S.-Mexico border and during a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, she doubled down on the need to strengthen border security and toughen employer sanction.

Or the one in 2008, that opposed drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants.

Or the one in 2014, that told CNN that most unaccompanied children from Central America had to be returned to their country.

Or even the one, as recently as 2015, that told a town hall meeting in New Hampshire as senator, “I voted numerous times to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.”

The problem here, is an issue of truthfulness and credibility — an issue that has plagued the former Secretary of State throughout her campaign.

On one hand is the soaring rhetoric of this most recent campaign, and on the other is a twenty-year record of hostility on the issue.

I, for one, believe that 20+ years of rhetoric against illegal immigrants is a more accurate representation of Hillary’s true feelings about immigration. That’s why during the primaries I voted for Senator Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign Capitalism: The known ideal MORE.

Immigration is simply too important of an issue for too many people to simply be treated as just another political football. We deserve better than politicians whose position on an issue of basic humanity is more informed by a political poll than by their own personal moral compass.

The truth is that there is virtually no difference between the way Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump view immigration — and Latino voters more broadly. Both of them see the issue and our community as pawns in their political game of chess.

We deserve better than that — we deserve leaders whose commitment to a humane immigration system are not dictated by the blowing of the political winds.

This year, we cannot and should not simply settle for the lesser of two evils. The insults from Donald Trump and the double talk from Hillary Clinton are not our only options.

Fantauzzi is currently the Co-Chairman of Tercera Opcion PAC (TerceraOpcion.org).  He served as the former President and CEO of the National Puerto Rican Coalition and as the Chairman of the Board of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change. He also served in the Board of Directors of GLAAD.


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