Hispanic Activists Say They’ll Punish Trump, GOP by Signing Up 1 Million Immigrants for Citizenship Who Will Vote for Democrats: Report

Hispanic activists said they’ll sign up 1 million immigrants for citizenship, register them to vote and then have them “punish” Donald Trump and the GOP by voting for Democrats next year, the Washington Times reported.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

More from the Times:

The advocates say the new voters could make a difference in the presidential race, where most of the Republican field has tacked to the right in word and policy, and in key Senate races in Illinois and Florida, where Republicans will be reaching to hang on to critical seats.

With nearly 9 million legal immigrants already eligible to become citizens, the 1 million goal is not far-fetched. The activists say they are counting on energizing another 2 million Hispanic citizens who have turned 18 since 2012 and who they believe will turn out to vote to defend fellow Dreamers, or young illegal immigrants, against Republican calls for their deportation.

“This is a huge amount of latent power,” said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans, the group he and other leaders announced Thursday at the National Press Club.

The effort is funded in part by the Open Society Foundation, the project of liberal billionaire George Soros.

The leaders behind the move hope that Trump’s controversial statements about Mexicans will push immigrants toward voting against Trump and other Republicans, the Times said.

More from the Times:

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat and top Hispanic leader, said when he speaks to high school students who are citizens, they are eager to defend their friends’ status. He also said many of those millions who stand to gain tentative legal status under the 2014 plan that is being blocked are parents whose own children or other relatives are eligible to vote.

“The undocumented are in the same families as the legal permanent residents and the U.S. citizens,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “Those families are going to mobilize.”

Mr. Trump on the campaign trail has insisted that Hispanics will rally to his message — though evidence backing up his claim is scant. He has polled well in Nevada, which is considered to be the first real test of Hispanic voters on the primary election calendar, but he appears to be lagging in Hispanic support nationally.

But Alfonso Aguilar, a top immigration official in the Bush administration and now executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, told the Times that it’s insulting to say Hispanics will vote to punish the GOP.

“That is the most insulting comment — not only to the Republican candidates, because it’s simply not true, but also to Latinos. It’s just crass pandering to Latinos to get their vote,” Aguilar told the Times.

More from the Times:

Mr. Gutierrez said the registration effort won’t try to single out Democrats and that he would sign up anyone who wants to naturalize and register to vote.

But he said there is little doubt in his mind which way the new Hispanic voters will trend, and he is skeptical that even the two Cuban-American Republicans running for president will have an effect.

“They know who’s on their side, right?” he told Times. “Having a last surname that is Latino does not make you an advocate for the interests and a defender for the future and a more prosperous future for our community.”

(H/T: Drudge Report)

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