How can some Latinos justify their support for Trump?
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I am volunteering for two Democratic candidates running for San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Hillary Ronen and Kimberly Alvarenga. For every 10 calls I make to reach out to Latino voters, three are for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE.

Some only hear the name, “Hillary,” and assume I am working for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWill the Horowitz report split the baby? Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine' Bannon: Clinton waiting to enter 2020 race and 'save the Democratic Party from Michael Bloomberg' MORE, the Democratic presidential nominee.

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One woman from Central America, a recently naturalized citizen, told me she was voting for Trump because more recent immigrants at her children’s school cause trouble and sell drugs.

“My family is for Trump because he is the only one who can clean up this country,” she said.

It’s hard to understand why some Latinos would support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has demonized immigrants and Latinos his entire campaign.

Trump has insulted Mexicans and immigrants calling them rapists, criminals and in the last debate,“bad hombres.”

Some Latina voters I’ve talked to said they don’t care about Trump’s comments about women because that is how men talk.

Some in the older wave of immigrants blame the more recent wave of immigrants for their problems. This has been part of our U.S. history, regardless of ethnicity.

It’s no secret that Cuban Americans are more conservative than Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans.

But even in Florida, Republicans are losing support with the younger generation of Cuban Americans. And the growing Puerto Rican community in Florida is heavily Democratic.

President Obama carried Florida’s Hispanic vote 60 percent to 39 percent in 2012, according to PEW Hispanic.

One of Trump’s most vocal Latino supporters in California, Marco Gutierrez, said that if Hillary Clinton won there would be taco trucks on every corner.

This reflects an internalized racism within the Latino community. Your skin color, class and when you arrived gives some Latinos a sense of superiority over others.

But those against Trump turned the taco truck into a positive meme on social media. They also parked a line or a “wall” of taco trucks around the Trump hotel in Las Vegas on the night of the third presidential debate.

It’s clear the Latino vote will make a difference in this election. Trump won’t win the Latino vote as he claims.

Latino Decisions predicts Trump could receive as little as 9.5 percent and as much as 20.5 percent of the Latino vote.

And Latino voters will be key in battleground states.

A new Univision poll shows that Clinton leads Trump among Latino voters 68 percent to 18 percent in Arizona, 65 percent to 19 percent in Nevada and 62 percent to 17 percent in Colorado.

It’s closer in Florida, where Clinton has 53 percent to Trump’s 29 percent of Latino voters. In California, Latino voters comprised 20 percent of the electorate in the primary more than any primary in the past decade, according to UC Davis.

In 2012, Mitt Romney received only 27 percent of the Latino vote. At the time his policy to advocate self-deportation upset many Latinos. That policy seems timid in the face of Trump’s proposal to build a bigger wall and to secure a deportation force.

Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-women rhetoric is sure to guarantee that he will receive even fewer Latino votes than Romney.

The minority of Latinos who support Trump should realize that his policies won’t protect them from discrimination. They are voting against themselves.

Flores is a community activist who lives in San Francisco and she is a Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project.


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