Again and again the media insist that there are no Hispanics who support President Donald Trump.
The 2020 election proved otherwise. Todd Bensman of the Center of Immigration Studies observed that strong border policies may have explained why Trump was able to make solid gains with Hispanics in Texas’ border counties. This runs against the conventional narrative GOP strategists are pushing, which argues that generic economic policy caused these voters to flip.
CIS did a number of interviews with residents living near the Texas border and in counties such as Cameron, Frio, La Salle, Starr, Val Verde, Webb, and Zapata, all which have been traditional Democrat strongholds. Many of these people were repelled by Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s support for lockdowns and transitioning away from natural gas. However, this was only the tip of the iceberg.
Bensman offered a nuanced take that no one in the media is covering:
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But that was the least of it. Left largely unreported in the national press is that hundreds of thousands of Latino voters in rural Texas — the sons and daughters of early legal migration — also felt repulsed by the 2019 mass-migration crisis during which nearly one million illegal Central Americans swamped the border as Democratic voices encouraged it, litigated efforts to staunch the tide, and promised open gates under a Biden administration.
“The immigration thing was another reason. A lot of our community from Mexico came here legally. Others were born here in Texas,” declared Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez. Martinez has been a Democrat all of his life and won a fourth term in office in Val Verde County. The county flipped red the first time in decades.
“The general feeling is that if someone comes to the U.S. they need to do it legally. I think that was probably a good majority of the Republican vote, yes,” Martinez added.
For Gilbert Rodriguez, a fourth-generation co-owner of an industrial equipment business in Del Rio, Texas, a Biden presidency represented more of the same. He is a diehard Republican who has generally felt politically isolated.
Rodriguez’s family has strong roots in the area, which Bensman observed in his piece:
Rodriguez said his mother’s family stretches back as a recipient of one of the region’s original Spanish land grants. His father’s family has lived on the Texas side for generations in the same area as proud Americans of Mexican heritage.
The massive wave of migrants coming from all over the world during 2018 to 2019 spooked Rodriguez and his Latino counterparts in the region. Bensman expanded on this:
The experience of seeing “armies” of unvetted strangers from all over the world — Haitians, Congolese, Middle Easterners, and others — pour over from Mexico during 2018 and 2019, with the encouragement and political protection of national Democrats, not only turned off many Latinos in the region to the party but also ‘scared them shitless”, explained Rodriguez, who lives 500 feet from the Rio Grande and recalled how Border Patrol would routinely ‘line them up and frisk them on our fence’.
“It’s not just Mexican people, and they’re not coming one or two at a time. There are thousands and thousands,” Rodriguez said in an interview with CIS. “A lot of the Hispanics don’t like that. They don’t like that. They’re saying, ‘our people filled out the papers and paid the fees and followed the rule of law.’ They want everyone to follow the law. Just … follow the law. And instead these people are just coming over and flipping the bird at us and just saying, ‘feed me.’”
For many people living in border counties, Border Patrol and ICE provide employment opportunities and economic advancement. Border counties are among the poorest in the U.S. So it was natural that voters in this region were repelled by certain Democrat factions’ proposals to abolish ICE and their overall attacks on border enforcement. Tony Castaneda, the former police chief of Eagle Pass and Republican precinct chairman in Maverick County, cited the Democrat’s hostility towards law enforcement — be it border enforcers or regular police — as the principal drivers behind South Texas Hispanics’ drift towards President Trump.
“The left attacks, and all the unrest and stuff like that, yes. The Border Patrol guys … they were really upset about people not accepting them,” Castaneda stated.
The Latino border voter base has taken note of the crisis at the border and has rejected empty media allegations about racism on the part of President Trump. For these Hispanics, border security takes precedence over Fake New disinformation.
“The media — CNN, ABC, CBS — they kept pounding and pounding and pounding about Trump not liking Hispanics, and again I go back to the same line: A lot of people believed he was not a racist, that it was just political jargon to lambast the president,” commented Castaneda.
Hispanics aren’t a monolith and there’s a growing minority that firmly believe in upholding political American principles. Nationalist leaders should avoid the mistakes that Conservatism Inc. has made with this demographic and instead appeal to them by talking about law and order and immigration restriction.