Now that Fox News Latino is no longer, be prepared to see more Latino voices being featured on FoxNews.com. Such is the case of a December 10 opinion piece by Alfonso Aguilar, a conservative Latino voice who has decided to look back at the 2016 election and the Latino vote through the typical partisanship that has done little to advance our community.
Titled “There Is No Latino Groupthink” (a title we actually agree with Aguilar on), what promised to be a more intelligent opinion piece turned into a cheerleading tome about how Latino support for president-elect Donald Trump “could realistically reach 40% or more in 2020” (yes, those are Aguilar’s words) because you know, Latinos are not a monolith. (Never mind that Aguilar only uses one exit poll to make his point, and doesn’t even bother to fully dive into a very interesting debate that is going on about the 2016 Latino vote.)
Granted, Aguilar is basing part of his 40% 2020 assessment on the fact that Trump will magically “deal with illegal immigrants in a constructive way during his first term, as he seems to be indicating, after he secures the border with Mexico and begins deporting those with criminal records.” We do wonder exactly what Trump Aguilar is describing, because the President-elect is ready to deport two to three million people almost immediately and it is clear to us and many Latinos that those with “criminal records” are no way near that number.
And before you try to correct us, we have been some of the staunchest and most vocal critics of President Barack Obama and his administration’s pathetic immigration record, to the point that we have been subjected to a slew of attacks from people who slammed us for having the audacity to criticize Democrats. Does Aguilar truly believe that the deportation-detention system that is now in place will suddenly turn benign under a Trump administration? The machine has been purring at a hyper clip for years and there is no indication that Trump will suddenly make the situation any better than what the Latino community has faced during the Obama administration. All you need to do is read what Trump told TIME about Central Americans.
Which is where Aguilar and our group differs. Unlike Aguilar, who painted everything as either right or left in his latest piece (woe on those who have more complex takes on Fidel Castro, for instance), we tell ourselves: when it comes to the contested topic of immigration, neither the right or the left has done anything to help the country’s Latino community. To suggest that Trump is now the best choice to solve it all is insulting. Maybe if more conservative Latino voices stopped looking through the easy partisan lens, real conversations about how to put the community first can happen. That is the choice we will always make, while we leave the partisanship to the DC Latino elite.
So are Latinos a monolith? Like Aguilar, we DO agree that no, they are not.
Is there no Latino groupthink? Of course there isn’t, and there never was. Anyone who thinks like that is silly.
Are Latinos more aligned to thinking independently? Yes.
But is Donald Trump the solution? Do we even have to ask that question? So far, his administration might not even have a Latino in his Cabinet, but we should be happy to give him a chance?
Do people really believe that any “softening” on immigration will win Trump favor? Have you not seen that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) already thinks Trump has gone too far? And even with visions of temporary bipartisan immigration protection measures, do you really think Trump will stop painting immigrants as marauding criminals that are invading this country? Did you not see how he won the election?
We do wonder if Aguilar will be championing Trump when the stories of more and more families being separated continue in 2017 and beyond.
Because unlike Aguilar, we will always place our community first over any President, no matter the party.