The situation is dire for the Latino community given the choice it has among 10 potential Republican Party presidential candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination ahead of the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis lead the group, and it is likely that it will be one of the two that wins over party sympathizers. The bad news for the country’s Latino population is that both candidates have similar ideas about the Latino community and the countries Latinos come from. Each candidate has indicated he wants to restrict entry to those who come from south of the United States border and, in some cases, the rights of those who already live there, whether they possess the correct documents or not.
Trump’s hostility when it comes to the rights of minority groups in general and particularly toward those of Latino origin, is well known. His wish to build a wall on the border with Mexico is barely a blueprint for the legislation he wants to pass. These include denying citizenship to those born in the United States if their parents do not have the correct documents; cutting back migrant health care programs; limiting or preventing entry into the school system to children and young people of the same origin; detaining and questioning those who look different based on suspicion about whether they have documentation to live in the U.S. and raiding workplaces with the intent to deport those without the correct documents, regardless of how long they have been living and working in the area. DeSantis subscribes to these proposals even more malevolently. With the unconditional support of Florida’s Cuban community, particularly those hoping to vindicate the privileges their ancestors enjoyed under Fulgencio Batista’s government, DeSantis has dominated state politics and begun to disseminate his ideas throughout the United States. For example, DeSantis lied to hundreds of migrants who arrived in Florida in search of asylum, promising them that he would bring them to places where they would find work and shelter, only to put them on dozens of buses and drop them at the doorsteps of government buildings in New York City, New York, Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California as a way to condemn these cities for what he called their open-border policies in favor of migrants.
Trump and DeSantis have blamed Joe Biden time and again for the wave of migrants seeking asylum in the United States. With the support of the Republican Party, they have insisted that there must be more aggressive immigration policy. Clearly they are taking advantage of the approaching election to win over voters who are angry with those who already live here and those attempting to cross the border. In this respect, the survival of many Democratic state and local legislators hangs by a thread because they have backed a humanitarian strategy.
This situation, as seen in other parts of the world, has created chaos and death for those who try to reach places where they might live with greater economic and personal security. There is little appetite for understanding that while the people continue to ignore the root of the problem, millions will continue to flee their countries, not because they want to, but because they have to in order to restore the quality of life and wealth that corporations have stolen from them and their ancestors. It seems improbable that Trump, DeSantis and those like them in other nations will admit that serious change is necessary to either stop or control growing waves of migrants. People like Trump and DeSantis fear any change that threatens the status quo from which they have benefitted. They do not want to change the fundamental parts of such an unfair system nor does such change suit them for obvious reasons. As a result, those who can change this situation, don’t want to, and those who want to, can’t.