In their own words: Why Hispanics and Latinos are shifting right

Samantha Renck, DCNF

  • The election of President Donald Trump in 2016 along with Republican gains in the 2020 presidential election showed the vulnerability of the Hispanic and Latino vote.
  • “There’s a trend that … all Latinos when they come here, they need to be Democrats in that … everybody’s so racist and all that,” Victor Jimenez told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • 54% of Hispanic voters disapprove of President Joe Biden’s job performance, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. 

Some of his friends blocked him on Instagram. Others would not answer his phone calls.

That was the response Victor Jimenez received when he switched parties and became a Republican last December. Jimenez and his family immigrated from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico in 2008 and shortly after he moved to Alaska alone despite speaking little English at the time.

“There’s a trend that … all Latinos when they come here, they need to be Democrats in that … everybody’s so racist and all that,” Jimenez told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “But, I can tell you that I’ve never experienced anything that I would consider racist in my years in this country like ever.”

The election of President Donald Trump in 2016 along with Republican gains in the 2020 presidential election revealed a rightward shift among Hispanic and Latino voters, historically a demographic that has strongly supported the Democratic Party.

54% of Hispanic voters disapprove of President Joe Biden’s job performance while only 26% approve, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

Jimenez worked as a lead public affairs officer for Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser before switching parties. 

“I know Mayor Bowser – I think she has good intentions. I just … I just don’t agree with a lot of the things they do,” he said, “meaning, … their policy on …  sanctuary cities, for example, that’s one thing that I do not agree on … and that for me was kind of like the point where I said, ‘okay, I … I don’t agree with this. I think if somebody commits a crime, they should be detained and they should be deported.’”

“There’s this notion that Hispanics agree with open borders and that Hispanics agree with illegal immigration, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he said.

Jimenez said he did not have to worry about how his family, who he described as conservative “for the most part,” would react. However, he said some of his liberal D.C. friends turned their backs on him after switching parties.

“The Democratic Party … prides itself to be so accepting and open, and blah, blah, blah, blah, until you are …  you are a conservative,” Jimenez said. “If you come out as conservative, then that’s the problem. They can’t even hear your argument because you’re immediately labeled as stupid. You’re not open. You are a racist.”

“Like, a racist? Like, are you kidding me? No, that’s not it. I just don’t agree with these values,” he said.

Jimenez is just one example of the growing trend of Hispanic and Latino voters switching to the Republican Party.

Claudia Alcazar became a Republican two years ago after being a Democrat for most of her life. She now serves as county chairwoman for the Republican Party in Starr County, Texas, which is located along the U.S.’ southern border.

She said people can no longer go for walks, ride bikes, or skateboard — even during the day — because of people crossing the border.

“Our way of life is changing to adapt to constant illegal, whatever you want to call it, immigration. I’m not sure what term is politically correct anymore,” Alcazar told the DCNF. “It has affected our lives a great deal.”

Alcazar said some ranchers in her area have had their farms damaged, such as having their fences cut and plastic bottles thrown in their ranches.

“I understand we want to help give everybody a better chance in life, but we got to take care of Americans first,” she said.

Alcazar said the GOP can keep her support ahead of the 2022 and 2024 elections and beyond by focusing on “America First” policies.

“We need to bring America back,” Alcazar said.

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