Washington: Real estate developer Donald J Trump (69) was declared the presumptive Republican nominee for…
Latino groups have criticized the Democratic Party for relying too heavily on Republican Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments on illegal immigration to drive Hispanic voters to the polls, calling instead for the party to do more to address Latino concerns, according to meeting notes seen by Reuters. “(W)e cannot rely on Trump as that will set us up for failure,” according to notes summarizing a meeting on May 2 between Democratic Party officials and representatives of several Hispanic advocacy groups.
“Our values… need to be uplifted,” they continued.
Hispanics make up around 17 percent of the U.S. population, making them a critical voter group in what is expected to be a tight race between Trump and the Democratic nominee.
Democratic operatives have called Trump an ideal spur for getting out the Latino vote because of his hard-line approach to illegal immigration, with some canvassers even using his picture to help encourage Hispanics to register..
The New York billionaire and now presumptive Republican nominee made waves early in his campaign by saying Mexico was sending rapists and drug dealers over the border. He has vowed to make Mexico pay for building a wall to block them and promised to round up and deport the millions of undocumented immigrants now in the United States.
By contrast, Democratic contenders for the White House, front-runner Hillary Clinton and rival U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have both promised to provide undocumented immigrants a path to legal status. The have also promised to nominate Latinos to key posts in their prospective administrations.
At least two Hispanics are also considered candidates to be the running mate to the eventual Democratic presidential nominee: Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.
“While Latinos appear to be a solid part of the Democratic base right now, that can certainly change,” said Brent Wilkes, the treasurer for the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and the national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, who was present at the meeting.