Riverside, California 2020-10-29 09:52:59 –
Latin Americans make up almost one-third of Texas voters this year, and the challenges of driving them to the ballot box are diverse.
Corpus Christi Caller Times and El Paso Times hosted forums with various Latin voters to spotlight one of Texas’s most influential blocks in the 2020 elections. ..
The panelists are:
- Fermin Acosta Jr., Former Credit Union Senior Executive in El Paso
- Eddie Canales, Executive Director, South Texas Human Rights Center
- Julia Lucero, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso
- JJ Martinez, President of the Young Democratic Party of El Paso
- Erica Portillo, instructor at El Paso Community College
- Joshua Rojas, a young Republican in Nueces County
- Rene Sentz, teacher at Moody High School in Corpus Christi
During the 40-minute discussion, panelists identified the following as the most pressing issues in the November elections:
Saenz said his “driving problem” in this election was President Donald Trump’s reckless response to COVID-19, which infected more than 8 million people and killed nearly 227,000 in the United States. It was.
“We are in a situation we have never experienced, at least in my life,” Saenz said. “I want to get back to normal. I don’t see it happening with this president …. The way he dealt with this crisis is absolutely horrifying.”
He said the pandemic made a “clear distinction” between Democrats and Republicans. One is cautious, but the other “wants to force it and behave as if things were normal,” he said, and widely rejected the habit of wearing face masks.
“I think there will be serious problems here if we don’t keep things going,” Sentz said. “We know that masks are one of the things that work. That’s what I’m concerned about. This fight to get rid of government teaches what to do now. I think we have to be really smart about how we behave. Do this. “
According to Lohas, the Rio Grande Valley has some of the poorest communities in the country. He accused Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez and Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, both Democrats, of hurting local businesses by imposing “strict” COVID-19 restrictions.
Meanwhile, in El Paso, daily COVID-19 infections have increased astronomically over the past week, reaching a record of 1,443 cases on Monday. Martinez said this was due to “under-coordination” by the city, state and federal governments.
“It’s really clear that governments at all levels have failed El Paso,” he said.
Despite similar family backgrounds, some panelists had the opposite political view.
Rojas remembered growing up on a 20-foot travel trailer with his parents and four siblings. He said his father, a statutory resident, was dismissed from a job that earned about $ 15,000 a year for attending religious conferences. According to Lohas, the family sold their belongings at the flea market just to scrape, and the mother couldn’t afford him a can of soda. Lohas’ father started his own business, but “failed three or four times” before it started, Rojas said. The family once relied on government benefits. Currently, Lohas is the second person in his family to graduate from college.
Immigrants “along the border,” Rojas said, worried that people are abusing welfare, as Mexicans fill public schools and hospitals in the area and push taxes on Americans. It’s hurting Hispanics and low-income communities. “
Lohas’ father is a supporter of Donald Trump. He “says something that no politician or anyone has ever said.”
According to Martinez, his father emigrated from Durango, Mexico to the United States, where he grew up as a “dirty poor” and was looking forward to soda as a Christmas present. Martinez’s father currently holds a PhD. The superintendent of the school district.
Martinez is now leading a young Democrat in El Paso, while Lohas’ family experience has driven him to the Republican Party.
However, he states: “As long as I’m a Democrat, the Democrats are neither the savior of the Latin community nor the savior of El Paso or other communities. The Democratic Party is not perfect. Unfortunately, it affected immigrants and adversely affected the Latin community. We have enacted some policies. “
Canales has accused the Trump administration of cracking down on immigrants. He said it continued the deaths of migrants in order to deny proper procedures for asylum seekers and fight dangerous situations to reach the United States.
“If we are the largest economy in the world, we need migrant workers, and we cannot deny the need for migrant workers, it is essential to maintain the level of this economy to the maximum. Then why? Isn’t the worker agile? Safe mobility to enter the country in a safe, regulated and orderly way? “Canares said.
He also disputed the idea that immigrants are claiming the public interest because “they do not want to have anything to do with public institutions.”
Acosta compared Trump with Adolf Hitler by “placed children and mothers in internment camps.” He and his brothers lived in Juarez, Mexico and attended a school in El Paso, he said- “yes, for free,” he said, but “we became professionals.” And an American taxpayer.
Some panelists have blamed Trump’s racist comments, including his claim that most Mexicans are racists and criminals. This type of rhetoric affected white supremacists, including gunmen, who killed 23 people in El Paso last year and injured 23.
“It’s very clear that the president hasn’t respected non-white people for the past four years,” Martinez said.
Access to women and abortion
“Abortion doesn’t stop,” Lucero said, even if the abortion became illegal. She compared this issue with a ban. Without regulation, people put the problem in their own hands and often have dangerous consequences. The Trump administration has promised to cut federal funding for planned parent-child relationships, but the organization offers more than abortion, Lucero said, health checkups and contraception for men and women. Such.
Dozens of women have accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault, and a few days before the 2016 election, the Washington Post reported 10 years ago from “Access Hollywood,” where Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. I reported on the tape.
“I’m a girl’s mother, so I need someone who respects women and women’s issues and women’s rights,” Portillo said. “You don’t have to put a pedestal, but at least you need to be equal.”
Canales has accused Republican-led voter oppression, including a 2013 decision by the Supreme Court that rolled back the protection of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Saenz has expressed support for public options health care plans that allow people to choose public insurance plans like Medicare instead of private insurance.
Lucero, one of the youngest panelists, ended the event with a hopeful note. In four years, she hopes to reduce the gap between the major political parties.
“We want to recognize that we all have something in common and that we all want the same thing, and that it protects each other and our family,” she said.
Vicky Camarillo deals with education, immigration and other issues in South Texas. See subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe.