WASHINGTON — A controversial new campaign by popular immigrant rights organizer Carlos Eduardo Espina is calling on Latinos not to vote in November’s midterm elections unless President Joe Biden and the Democrats pass long-promised immigration reform.
Espina is telling his millions of followers on social media that if Democrats fail to enact the immigration reforms promised during the 2020 election, then Latino voters, who largely come from immigrant communities, should stay home on Election Day.
“It has been over 500 days since Biden and the Democrats took power, and the millions of immigrants who kept this country afloat have not seen any improvement,” said Espina in Spanish.
The Spanish-language campaign already has over four million views on TikTok, where Espina has 3.5 million followers. The English language hashtag #NoReformNoVote has over 271,000 views on the platform.
Ya los inmigrantes se cansaron de mentiras #NoReformaNoVoto ??
Espina, a 23-year-old law student from Texas, said on TikTok that he’s faced pushback from folks who tell him Democrats are doing what they can, given the political climate.
“Those who want to cancel me are indignant,” Espina said on TikTok. “While it’s true that Republicans do absolutely nothing to help immigrants, Democrats are also doing absolutely nothing… They always have excuses that ignore the fact that they have a majority in both chambers of Congress.”
Espina doesn’t limit his criticisms to Capitol Hill, singling out inaction by the White House too, which he said can be doing more to help immigrants unilaterally through executive orders.
Se tenia que decir y se dijo ???? #NoReformaNoVoto
“An example is that if Biden wanted to he could give TPS (Temporary Protected Status) to millions of undocumented immigrants,” Espina said. “For Ukrainian immigrants, he created TPS in a week… But for immigrants from other countries, not a peep.”
“Sorry I don’t agree with you on this because there is more that we are going to lose if the Republicans take the House and the Senate,” one commenter said, a sentiment shared by many political watchers who fear worsening conditions if the Republicans retake Congress in November.
Exactly! I did not come up with this idea. It was the immigrants I talk to on a daily basis who are tired of the Democrat’s false promises and lack of initiative. They have the power to do more on immigration and they must if they want our continued support ??
— Carlos Eduardo Espina (@cespina1998) July 26, 2022
As of this writing, Espina’s petition has nearly 6,000 signatures and the campaign’s Facebook group has almost 124,000 members. A pre-election rally is being planned for Saturday, October 8, in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.
In February, Espina used his social media platforms to mobilize hundreds of immigrants to the same plaza for a midday rally called “A Day Without Immigrants.”
Pablo Manríquez is the Capitol Hill correspondent for Latino Rebels. Twitter: @PabloReports