May 30, 2016
Latino leaders in California working to mend the GOP’s relationship with their community were filled with dread, not joy, as Donald Trump clinched their party’s nomination for the presidency.
The businessman’s campaign, staked on a hard-line approach and incendiary rhetoric about illegal immigration, threatened to unravel the progress they’ve made to repair a schism created by a 1994 ballot measure that sought to deny taxpayer-funded services to those in the country illegally.
The state GOP lost a generation of Latino voters in the aftermath of that ballot measure, Proposition 187. And now Latino Republicans fear they will lose yet another generation as a result of Trump becoming the standard-bearer of their party.
“I am concerned, and I’m saddened, and I’m bewildered,” said Luis Alvarado, a GOP media strategist who, like many other Latino officials in California, said he will not vote for Trump. “We had fought for every inch in changing the minds and hearts of not just fellow Latinos, but also fellow Republicans in understanding how we need to work together. And Trump comes along and everything just gets pushed aside.”