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To be or not to be the Latino Republican

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With rumors of wars surfacing in every social media outlet there today, it is no surprise that we see the majority of the U.S. population cringing at the decisions that the Democratic Party have made, and will make in the coming days. With Syria’s situation reaching dangerous levels, Latinos are now surfacing with new ideals that are tilting toward the ride of the elephant – the Republican Party. Though viewed as ironic and unexpected, Latinos swaying to the Republican side of the pool is not the first time in history that this change happens. When the issue of immigration is threatened and Latinos do not see a favorable response to the policies that restrict many undocumented immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens, we see the Latino community run toward the donkey and ride it without any polemics; however, the Republican Party is opening their doors to the thought of providing an immigration policy that will “[open] a process that gives them a path to remaining here if they wish”.

The Washington Times released an article called “The Republican Party Winning the young Hispanic vote” speaking about such changes and describing that the best way for the Republican Party to win the vote of the Latino community is by “[finding] a way to unite behind immigration reform that does not treat Hispanics like the enemy”. Following the words of reporter Jose L. Fulgencio, “If there is anything that should be learned from the 2008 and 2012 Presidential election, it is that Hispanic voters often cast their votes based on how their communities and families will be affected by immigration policy”.

The Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization directed toward Latino issues, speaks about the voting situation surrounding such elections. The notion that was prevalent between Latino voters in 2008 is that a large percentage of Latinos (41%) prefers the Democratic Party rather than the Republican because the party was “doing a better job dealing with illegal immigration”; however, it is surprising that within the same survey, we see the same percentage of Latinos stating that there is no difference between the two parties when it comes to Latino concerns. Bush admits to having “an estimated 40% of the national Latino vote in 2004″ which is a very high number for a presidential candidate within the Republican Party.

In the election where prejudices were thrown down, and we proudly see our first African American in office, we show similar numbers amongst the same issues being addressed in previous elections. Pew states that “the issue of immigration has been an important issue for Hispanics [throughout this election cycle]”. It is clear after revising the Latino vote, especially during an election that meant  and still means so much to all minorities in the U.S., that Latinos favored the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. Other crucial topics during the 2012 election were the economy, deficit and foreign policies.

In 2013, it may seem a bit confusing to consider the Republican Party winning the Latino vote. With their history of stringent policies that have created more obstacles than solutions for immigrants throughout the country, the resounding questions will have to be: What is causing the Latino voters to join in on the elephant’s ride? Is it solely the issue of immigration or is the current Democratic administration causing too many raised eyebrows in the Latino community? I will let my fellow Being Latino readers decide.


By Being Latino Contributor, Kurtvin.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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