During the Democratic National Convention, on July 27, my fellow Wake the Vote peer, Sophia, and I attended a special event called the Hispanic Caucus. We had no idea what was in store prior to that incredible opportunity. Sophia and I, both originating from Hispanic backgrounds and cultures, were excited to hear prominent speakers such as former United States Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, and Congresswomen Linda Sanchez and Michelle Grisham Lujan. To our surprise, even DOLORES HUERTA was present. The former labor leader and social justice activist had previously spoke at Wake Forest in the Fall of 2015!
Much of the event focused on the importance of the Latino Vote in the 2016 election. Dr. Matt A. Barreto from UCLA’s Political Science Department presented key information regarding the crucial voter bloc. A fascinating part of Dr. Barreto’s presentation was a slide he presented called “Current State of the race”. It was a chart depicting the Latino presidential vote as of July 2016 and a “vote by day during RNC Convention”. Votes for Trump started at 17 on Day 1 and decreased each day until Day 4 with a whopping 12. To contrast those statistics, Clinton’s votes increased accordingly during the RNC; Day 1: 72, Day 2: 74, Day 3: 75, and Day 4: 76. Interestingly enough, according to the same source of Latino Victory Project, 81 % of people said the crowd chanting “build the wall” is disturbing and encourages discrimination against immigrants and Latinos.
These statistics led me to the question of “Why are Latinos so supportive of Clinton?” and “What does the “us” in “fighting for us” resemble?”. Essentially, Hillary Clinton has been able to attract the Latino vote because her campaign recognizes their strength in numbers and their importance in America’s rich, multi-faceted culture. HRC’s campaign focuses on college affordability, wages, climate change, increased access to health insurance, and increased support for K-12 education. Regardless of if you are an undocumented student, or if your family has lived in the United States for decades, these issues speak to the Hispanic population. Comprehensive immigration reform is a crucial issue in this election, and I personally project that HRC will win this election due largely to her stance on immigration and her determination to make the lives of immigrants living in America easier and safer.
-Daniella Maria Feijoo