Several conservative Hispanics who had supported GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump are reconsidering their allegiance to the business mogul following his immigration speech in Arizona.
After two weeks of rumors that Trump would be softening his stance on undocumented immigrants, members of the GOP nominee’s Hispanic National Advisory Council were hopeful that he would adopt a more compassionate policy toward Latino immigrants.
Those hopes were squashed Aug. 31 when Trump explicitly called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
On Sept. 1, CBS News analyst Leslie Sanchez took to Twitter to break the news that half of Trump’s Hispanic council was resigning in reaction to the speech.
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“Hispanic leader who advises Trump camp telling me half of Trump’s Hispanic advisory board is ready to resign today (15 of 30),” Sanchez tweeted.
“There was so much hope,” Jacob Monty told The New York Times. “He used us as props.”
Monty was a member of Trump’s Hispanic advisory council and had given the business mogul positive marks after a meeting at Trump tower two weeks earlier. After Trump’s speech in Arizona, Monty swiftly resigned from the council.
“That was not a Republican speech, that was populist propaganda,” Monty said. “He must listen to whoever speaks to him last.”
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Alfonso Aguilar, the president of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, also left the Trump camp, citing that Trump had told his Hispanic council one thing and then the American people another.
“For the last two months, he said he was not going to deport people without criminal records,” Aguilar told CNN. “And then we heard yesterday, and I was totally disappointed … and slightly misled, because he gave the impression ... until yesterday morning that he was going to deal with the undocumented in a compassionate way.”
During his speech in Arizona, Trump explicitly called for the deportation of every undocumented immigrant.
“Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation,” Trump said. “This is what it means to have laws and to have a country.”
In Aguilar's view, the GOP nominee’s newly unveiled plans are “even worse than what he initially proposed.”
Pastor Ramiro Pena of Texas, another member of Trump’s Hispanic advisory council, also pulled his support for the business mogul.
“I am so sorry but I believe Mr. Trump lost the election tonight,” Pena wrote in an email to Politico. “The ‘National Hispanic Advisory Council’ seems to be simply for optics and I do not have the time or energy for a scam.”