After Donald Trump declared war against “illegals,” Latinos have united across cultures to take on his anti-immigrant crusade. Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, his hate speech on Mexico‘s people and proposal for immigration reform have prompted Latinos to embark on a pathway to political power by applying for neutralization in order to vote against the Republican tycoon.
According to CNN, figures from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services show a 14.5% jump in naturalization applications in June-December of 2015 compared with the same six months in the previous year. “They feel very unsafe with his words,” said Florida Immigrant Coalition spokesman Ivan Parra. “They want to be respected. For them, it is an emergency.”
Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness claims to have never witnessed so many Florida residents file for citizenship in the 40 years he’s lived there. “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,” he explained. “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.”
Data gathered at the University of Southern California Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration indicates that 4.5 million U.S. Latinos are eligible for naturalization. As CNN points out, those potential voters are a sizable voting bloc, namely in swing states.
Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas, who’s vocally rebuked Donald Trump and his presidential campaign, has made a stimulating prediction of the upcoming election: “The very same group he has been attacking is the one that’s going to stop him from going to the White House. In November of this year, the Latino vote is going to stop Donald Trump.”
Watch as Latino immigrants explain why Trump has inspired them to apply for neutralization, here.