Hispanics who support Trump see themselves as Americans first

Rubin Navarette:
Yet, Trump is likely to do better than expected with Latino voters.

It’s not just because of a strong economy, low unemployment rates among Latinos, etc. It’s also because many Latinos are willing to look past Trump’s anti-Latino bigotry. After all, they tell themselves, the president is not talking about people like them.
He talks often about how the United States is facing an “invasion” from the south. That’s the same word that 21-year-old Patrick Crusius used in a racist manifesto he penned before walking into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Aug 3 to, as he allegedly told police, “kill as many Mexicans as possible.” Crucius killed 22 people, many of them Mexican and wounded 25 others.

Several weeks ago, when Trump traveled to New Mexico to court conservative Latinos, he doted on CNN commentator Steve Cortes, a pro-Trump immigrant from Colombia who the president declared “looks more like a WASP than I do.” Trump put Cortes on the spot, asking him, “Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?” Cortes answered “The country.”

Most of the Latinos who back Trump are not so buffoonish about their support. But they’re no less devoted to their guy.

As a Mexican-American Never Trumper, I wanted to understand these people. Besides, as a journalist who is trained to talk to strangers, the idea of Latinos who support Trump sounded plenty strange to me.

So, I went out and interviewed a couple dozen Latinos for Trump.

What I found is that, in many cases, these folks are not really Latino at all. They’re “post-Latino.” They see themselves as Americans. They’re ambivalent about their heritage, relatives, ancestors. They don’t take offense when Trump insults Mexican immigrants because — even for Mexican-Americans — they see the people he’s talking about as another species.
Consider the views of Chris Salcedo, a conservative Mexican-American radio host in Texas who bills himself as a “liberty loving Latino.”

“I’ve always resented the hell out of liberals, in the press and out of the press, who have said that I, because of my Latino surname, have anything in common with someone who is breaking into my country without our permission,” Salcedo told me. “When the president cracks down on illegal border crossings and human trafficking, I do not believe he’s attacking me — because I also want to stop those same things.”
I occasionally catch Salcedo's show on the radio and think he is pretty smart.   I grew up on the border with Mexico and have many Hispanic friends.  I like them and fought with them in Vietnam.  They are as American as you will find.  Why would they want to identify with those who come here illegally? 

Unlike those who stereotype them as lazy, they are actually some of the hardest working people you will find.  Trump has reduced the Hispanic unemployment rate to the lowest ever recorded.  They are opening new businesses and prospering.  That is something the left never did for them. 

Also, Hispanics on the border are getting fed up with having to spend money on refugees here illegally when they need to spend that money on roads and water systems. 

The Never Trumpers are a selfish lot who would rather seem people fail than see the President reelected.


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