President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on halting illegal immigration, featuring a border wall and deportation, so it’s assumed that the 27.3 million eligible Hispanic voters in the U.S. would have sided with Hillary Clinton on the issue.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a surprisingly large number of Hispanics in America like the idea of immigration law enforcement.
“The conventional wisdom that advocating enforcement of immigration laws is a deal-killer for Hispanic voters is just plain wrong,” said Dan Stein, president of the activist organization.
“It is a myth perpetuated by groups of individuals with a political stake in maintaining mass immigration and by a bunch of high-priced political consultants who continually misread public sentiment.”
He points to the results of an exit poll by Zogby Analytics conducted Nov. 9-10 on behalf of FAIR.
It found immigration policy is less important to Hispanic voters than it is to the electorate generally when it comes to voting.
“Moreover, a substantial majority of Hispanic voters approved of immigration positions advocated by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign,” the group said.
Among the findings:
- 77.4 percent of Hispanic voters rated immigration as important or somewhat important in their voting decisions, which was less than the overall voter level of 84.6 percent. Even 87.8 percent of white voters said it was important or somewhat important.
- 58.5 percent of Hispanic voters said they “support Donald Trump’s immigration policies,” including many who said they do not like him as a person. However, only 32.9 percent of Hispanic voters said they “support Hillary Clinton’s immigration policies,” even though a much greater percentage liked her as a person. When all voters were measures, 54.7 percent supported Trump’s immigration policies compared with 38.4 percent who supported Clinton’s.
- And 36.3 percent of Hispanic voters believe current immigration enforcement is too lax, double the number, 18.3 percent, who say it is too strict, and more than 10 percentage points higher than those who think it is about right, 25.5 percent.
The evidence “torpedoes dire warnings by Hispanic activist groups, open borders advocates, and political consultants that immigration is the determining factor for Hispanic voters and that this group of voters will not support candidates who favor immigration enforcement over amnesty,” FAIR said.
“Donald Trump may not have won the Hispanic vote in this election, but clearly it was not because of his views on immigration,” observed Stein. “If anything, his positions on immigration seem to have helped him among Hispanic voters whose economic circumstances are being harmed by excessive immigration and unchecked illegal immigration.”
FAIR reported other polling data that show jobs, quality education, health care and other factors are significant motivating issues for Hispanic voters.
“As Republicans lay out their immigration agenda for the next two years in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, they would be well-advised to ignore the self-anointed spokespeople and the political consulting class. Enforcing immigration laws, securing our borders, protecting American workers and taxpayers, and setting reasonable limits on immigration enjoy broad public support, including large numbers of Hispanic Americans who stand to benefit economically from the policies President-elect Trump ran on,” concluded Stein.
It was reported earlier that a poll on the eve of the election already warned Hispanics supported Trump on the issue, with 51 percent saying there was “too little” done to enforce immigration law.
The late conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly wrote earlier this year that it was Trump’s blunt immigration talk and stances on immigration that propelled his rise in the polls.
Trump’s assertion that a “nation without borders is not a nation” is, she wrote at the time, “a refreshing contrast to the immigration paper recently released by Jeb Bush, who is the candidate of the big-money, big-business faction of the Republican Party.”
“Jeb famously said illegal immigrants were guilty only of ‘an act of love,’ and his plan would reward them with permanent ‘legal status’ which he said must be ‘combined with’ long-overdue measures to secure the border,” Schlafly wrote.
“Trump’s new position paper answers his opponents with the plainspoken truth that ‘America will only be great as long as America remains a nation of laws that lives according to the Constitution. No one is above the law’ – including the 300-plus sanctuary cities and counties that openly refuse to help remove illegal aliens even after they commit horrible crimes,” she wrote.
“Donald Trump launched his campaign in June by accusing Mexico of sending its worst criminals, murderers and rapists to live here illegally – a charge that was tragically confirmed by the July 1 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. The rampage continued with the July 24 rape and murder of Marilyn Pharis in her own home in Santa Maria, California; the July 27 attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl and murder of Peggy Kostelnik in Lake County, Ohio, near Cleveland; and the July 29 murders of Jason and Tana Shane of the Crow Nation in Montana – all crimes allegedly committed by Mexicans living here illegally who should have been deported for previous crimes,” Schlafly wrote.