Donald Trump Latino surrogates and supporters have begun withdrawing their support following Trump’s immigration speech. After rumors began swirling all week that Trump was going to soften on his proposed policies, Trump stood by his convictions and his original plan since the beginning. Latino voters have known for awhile this was Trump’s stance, so the fact they are recoiling now does not make a whole lot of sense.
Trump’s 90-minute speech Wednesday night offered a more detailed outline on his plan to reform the immigration system. Apparently, this became too much for some Latino backers, such as Jacob Monty of Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council. Monty resigned effective immediately following the speech and released the following statement on his Facebook:
“I was a strong supporter of Donald Trump when I believed he was going to address the immigration problem realistically and compassionately. What I heard today was not realistic and not compassionate… When we met [earlier in August] he was going to approach this issue with a realistic plan, a compassionate plan, with a plan that was not disruptive to the immigrants that were here that were not lawbreakers. He didn’t deliver any of that.”
Another ardent supporter and GOP donor, Mike Fernandez, decided to switch his support to Hillary Clinton, formally endorsing the Democratic nominee on Thursday. According to a disgruntled Fernandez, Trump’s speech was the “final straw.” Fernandez writes in a Miami Herald op-ed:
“No longer can we seek solace in wishful thinking or the illusion that this is just an election cycle and that by divine intervention all will be better after we vote. There is no basis in thinking that our democracy is so strong, our checks and balances so finely hedged, that no single person can lead us off the precipice. Trump can. Donald Trump is neither representative of our values nor qualified to lead the nation.”
However, not all Latinos are backing away from Trump. There are a significant portion who believe Trump’s speech proved he was not a traditional politician and was going to stand by his original views. Helen Aguirre Ferré, RNC’s Latino outreach director, told the Fox News show “On the Record” that Trump was a man of his word and will not back down or compromise:
“[Donald Trump] is not politically correct. He is not going to follow the traditional path of how to do an election. Hillary Clinton is probably still talking to her advisors as to whether to accept the invitation from President Peña Nieto or not and Donald Trump does what he does well, which is move with instinct; he works with intellect and he saw an opportunity and he took it.”