In the United States, there are currently 4.5 million Latinos eligible for naturalization. Once naturalized, they are entitled to vote in any elections they like, be it local, state or national.
Of the 4.5 million eligible, hundreds of thousands of them reside in states that lean Republican.
Because of the hostility of the Republican Party and their current frontrunner, these Latinos are coming out in droves to apply for their naturalization – to act as spoilers for the GOP in November.
If they were to all successfully apply, the map in November could be drastically different. Take these numbers from the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration:
- 750,000 eligible in Texas
- 415,000 in Florida
- 139,000 in Arizona
- 57,000 in Colorado
- 64,000 in Nevada
Given the Republicans have a net favorability rating with Latino voters, this could spell danger for them with not just the presidency, but their majorities in the House, Senate and governorships.
And if you’re Donald Trump, that should make you very, very worried.
Between June – December 2015, the amount of eligible Latino citizens applying for naturalization has jumped a whopping 15 percent.
The Florida Immigration Coalition spokesman Ivan Parra has stated that while naturalization applications typically spike during election years, recent developments have been to the likes of which they have never seen. Parra, who is also an immigration attorney, hosted an event in Lauderhill, Florida to help eligible immigrants apply. The event opened at 10 a.m., but hundreds of Latino residents had already lined up by 5 a.m.
Boward County (Florida) Commissioner Dale Holness says in the 40 years he’s lived in Florida, he has never seen this surge of applications before. And the reason:
Trump’s tone is getting people scared. Though he’s often saying ‘illegal,’ the legal people who’ve been here don’t feel secure either. They could be next. So for one, they want to protect themselves so they don’t get thrown out for any reason. Two, they want to make sure they’re engaged to the extent that they can contribute to insuring that Trump’s not the person.
One of the biggest deterrents of legal residents applying for citizenship is a costly $680 processing fee to do so. But the Catholic Legal Service, which aids in helping immigrants, finds that Latino residents are biting the bullet and going forward with their applications.
In their 2012 assessment as to why they lost the election, the GOP made it very plain that it was, in part, due to a large deficit with Latino voters. Now their frontrunner is bringing them out to vote – for Democrats.
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