Hispanic Advisors Resign After Trump Immigration Speech

| by Nik Bonopartis
Republican nominee Donald TrumpRepublican nominee Donald Trump

Two members of Donald Trump's Hispanic advisory board resigned and several others are reportedly thinking of leaving after the Republican candidate's speech reaffirming his hard-line stance on immigration.

Trump faced criticism from his base, with his strongest supporters crying foul after the businessman appeared to walk back some of his earlier promises on immigration reform. Those proposals -- including an effort to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally and construction of a massive border wall -- had become cornerstones of Trump's campaign, and helped him seal the Republican nomination over a crowded field of contenders.

But after a campaign leadership shakeup saw Trump reaching out to black and Hispanic voters, some Trump supporters blasted the candidate for stepping back on his proposals.

On Aug. 31, Trump sought to reassure supporters by reaffirming his stance on immigration.

"Are you ready? Are you ready?" Trump asked cheering supporters. "We will build a great wall along the southern border," he said, to loud cheers from the audience in Phoenix, Arizona.

"And Mexico will pay for the wall," Trump added, drawing another round of applause, cheers and whistles.

The speech prompted Jacob Monty, described by The New York Times as a longtime Republican, to resign his position on Trump's Hispanic advisory board. Monty said he believed Trump would concede a "path to citizenship" for immigrants as part of his plan after the real estate mogul met with Hispanic supporters during a mid-August meeting at Trump Tower in New York City.

“There was so much hope,” Monty told The New York Times. “He used us as props.”

Ramiro Pena, a Texas pastor who also joined the advisory board, also withdrew his support.

“I am so sorry but I believe Mr. Trump lost the election tonight,” Pena wrote in a letter to the Republican National Committee. “The ‘National Hispanic Advisory Council’ seems to be simply for optics and I do not have the time or energy for a scam.”

CBS News reporter Leslie Sanchez reported an unnamed "Hispanic leader" told her that as many as 15 members of the advisory board were considering leaving, but Sanchez did not provide names and the claim was not corroborated by any additional sources or reports.

In his speech, Trump also promised to end the practice of "catch and release" in which immigrants in the country illegally are released pending court dates when charged with crimes, and reaffirmed his support for "zero tolerance" for immigrants accused of serious crimes.

Sources: CBS News, The New York Times, Leslie Sanchez/Twitter / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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