Op-Ed

Underestimating the Latino vote could cost the Democrats in 2020 | Opinion

Voter enters an Osceola County polling station during early voting in Kissimee, Florida.
Voter enters an Osceola County polling station during early voting in Kissimee, Florida. Getty Images

The 2020 presidential election is in full swing. Campaigns, nominees and pundits are jockeying for position and prepared to stop at nothing to win your vote, and ultimately, the White House.

Shameful misinformation is the norm, with everything from half-truths, smoke and mirrors, and biased activism inundating the American public under the guise of “journalism.”

For years, the immigration debate has been escalating. Our borders have witnessed a steady increase in illegal immigration that is simply unsustainable. And this critical issue is being spun to drive a political wedge between voters and the truth; often times blurring the lines between legal and illegal immigration.

Our nation, as a country of laws, is in danger of being hijacked by irresponsible rhetoric. This careless discourse has clouded judgment and common sense. It has further pushed the left to applaud lawlessness, threatening the very essence of America’s foundation.

So much so, that Democrats have boxed in voters, specifically Hispanic voters, into a one-size fits all approach, particularly on the immigration front. The contrived labels of intolerance, white supremacy and racism are buzzwords used by liberals to circumvent facts and demonize those who dare to disagree on immigration policy.

As a Cuban-American woman, daughter of immigrant parents, and the first Latina elected lieutenant governor of Florida, I’ve had my share of criticism and scrutiny for taking a stance on illegal immigration.

My motives, my faith and even my Hispanic heritage have been disgracefully called into question by some who seek to tarnish my name (tilde included) and my record of service on behalf of the Hispanic community, to satisfy their political agenda.

As a matter of fact, our friends on the left so quickly have forgotten how prominent Democrats like Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama were “all for” border security. In fact, during the Obama administration, more than 5 million immigrants were deported and the infamous chain-link cages were installed in immigrant-detention facilities to combat the spike in unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central American countries.

And although this selective outrage from the left has forced immigration conversations to morph into robotic hate-Trump talking points, the truth is, the absence of Congressional action on immigration is proof that Democrats are void of any substantive solutions to aid this crisis.

This same selective outrage is carefully constructed in order to opaque the gains on immigration made by the current administration.

Under President Trump, stemming the flow of illegal immigration has been a priority, whether it is through expanding border-wall funding, meaningful negotiations with countries such as Mexico and Guatemala or addressing the “public-charge” rule loopholes in the asylum process. Trump and Republicans are seeking to ensure that we address the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis on the border, while still enhancing and enforcing the integrity of the immigration system.

For far too long, Democrats have been branding Hispanic Republicans and conservatives as the enemy of the Latino way of life. However, it is these very individuals who have fought tirelessly against the ills of socialism and oppression that Guatemalans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Colombians and others look to leave behind. They often flee a country in shambles, with the knowledge that they were migrating to a nation of laws, appreciative of Lady Liberty and all the opportunities she bestows.

Unfortunately, the candidates running for President for the Democratic Party seem to have forgotten the damage and destruction left behind in socialism’s wake. Those masquerading as journalists have joined them, using their soapboxes to spew venom and falsehoods. This short-sided, myopic, fear-mongering strategy will, once again, prove futile come Nov. 3, 2020.

Why? Because the people deserve better. Because trying to inject fear into the Hispanic voting bloc as a power play for the elections is nothing to be proud of. And because it is reckless, undemocratic and shameful to bully voters with deception and smear the character of those who simply disagree.

Jeanette Nuñez is lieutenant governor of Florida and co-chair of Latinos for Trump.

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