“The Democratic Party has moved away from blue-collar messaging, which is really aligned with the new immigrant community, primarily Latinos, and actually in some AAPI states, because they’re working those jobs,” said Rocha.
It opened the door for politicians like Flores to rethink what politics in his community should be. This has particular power among immigrant groups – even those who have been in America for a few generations – because their political allegiances are not calcified. According to a January Gallup poll, 52% of Latinos identify as independent, which is 10% higher than the proportion of independents among the US population as a whole. While this is a crude way of measuring voter flexibility, it is also true that over the past 40 years the two main immigrant groups in America – Latinos and Native Americans Asian – swung between the two parties at a pace that far outpaced black and white Americans.
So who does Flores imagine “us” to be? His messages were mostly centered around economic hardship, family, and opportunity. In a prospectus Titled “Mayra Flores Will Restore the American Dream,” Flores promises to “end runaway spending to end inflation,” “secure the border,” and “expand, not limit, access to healthcare.” health”. In another, she promises to “get the economy back on track” and “stop inflation in its tracks and keep more money in your pocket.” And in his acceptance speech last week, Flores said: “The policies that are being put in place right now are hurting us. We cannot accept increased gas, food, medicine, we cannot accept this. And we have to declare the fact that under President Trump, we didn’t have this mess in this country. Its message is clear: “We” refers to struggling working-class families who grew up with socially conservative values. “Them” is everyone.
Flores can therefore act almost as a proof of concept for future Republican candidates. Her invocation of Trump may have caught the headlines, but her campaign only mentioned the former president occasionally and stayed on message about economic factors, family and what she said. be the true values of the people of South Texas: border security, religion, affordable health care, well-funded police, and the Second Amendment.
It’s time for Democrats to ask a very simple question: What exactly does their party offer working class immigrants? Note that here I am not talking about the broad and humanitarian ideal of immigration, in which a government puts aside 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 who for the most part came to the United States in search of economic opportunity. They are largely apolitical or independent voters. They get their news from non-English speaking sources far from the reach of things like this newsletter. Like everyone else in America, they tend to vote for the party that best reflects their personal interest.
It’s a question I’ve been swirling around in my head for about five years, ever since I noticed that many of the communities I was reporting on – mostly Asian Americans – seemed completely unconcerned by the threat. of Donald Trump. . It was no surprise to me. I was not born in this country, I 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 concerns. (A 2020 Pew poll showed “racial and ethnic inequality” was fourth on Hispanic voters’ list of priorities. The economy and health care topped the list. Immigration, for what she’s worth, was eighth, below the Supreme Court’s appointment and climate change.)