“The Democratic Party has turned down messaging with workers who are really connected to the new immigrant community, mostly Hispanics, and in fact in some AAPI states, because they work those jobs,” Rocha said.
This has provided an opportunity for politicians like Flores to rethink what her community’s politics should be. This is especially powerful in immigrant groups—even among those who have lived in America for generations—because their political leanings have not petrified. According to the January Gallup Poll. 52 percent of Hispanics identify as independent, 10 percent higher than the proportion of independents among the general American population. While this is a rough measure of voter flexibility, it is also true that over the past 40 years, both major immigrant groups in America—Hispanics and Asian Americans—have swung between the two parties at a rate far ahead of blacks and whites.
So who does Flores refer to as “us”? Her messages mainly dealt with economic difficulties, family and opportunities. AT pilot Titled “Myra Flores Will Restore the American Dream”, Flores promises to “stop uncontrolled spending to end inflation”, “protect the border”, and “expand, not restrict, access to healthcare”. In another, she promises to “get the economy back on track”, “stop inflation and keep more money in your pocket”. And in her acceptance speech Flores said last week: “The policies that are being implemented right now are hurting us. We cannot accept the increase in the amount of gas, food, medicine, we cannot accept this. And we have to state the fact that under President Trump we didn’t have such a mess in this country.” Her message is clear: “We” refers to struggling working-class families who grew up with socially conservative values. “They” is everyone else.
Thus, Flores can act almost as a proof of concept for future Republican candidates. Her appeal to Trump may have caught the attention of headline writers, but her campaign only occasionally mentioned the former president and remained on stories about economic factors, family, and what she said were the real values of South Texas residents: border security, religion. . , affordable healthcare, a well-funded police force and the Second Amendment.
It’s time for Democrats to ask a very simple question: What exactly is their party offering to working-class immigrants? Note that I am not talking here about the broad humanitarian ideal of immigration, where the government sheds its nativist tendencies and welcomes people from all over the world. I’m talking about the millions of first and second generation immigrants who still identify strongly with their country of origin, but mostly came to the United States in search of economic opportunities. They are mostly apolitical or independent voters. They get their news from non-English speaking sources far away from things like this newsletter. Like everyone else in America, they tend to vote based on which party best reflects their personal interests.
This is a question I’ve been playing around in my head for the past five or so years, as I’ve noticed that many of the communities I’ve written about – mostly Asian Americans – aren’t overly concerned about the threat of Donald Trump. . This was not a surprise to me. I was not born in this country, grew up in an immigrant family, and spent much of my career reporting on immigrant communities. For many first- and second-generation immigrant families, racism and white supremacy are secondary political issues. (BUT pew poll in 2020 showed “racial and ethnic inequalities” as number four on Latino voters’ list of priorities. The economy and health care came first. Immigration, for that matter, was in eighth place after Supreme Court appointments and climate change.)