East County News Service
March 21, 2016 (San Diego) – Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric is having some unintended consequences: motivating immigrants to become citizens so that they can register to vote against Trump if he is the Republican party’s nominee in November.
Nationwide, citizenship applications are up 14 percent in the last quarter of 2015 over the same period a year before. Here in San Diego County, some heavily Latino neighborhoods have seen an even bigger jump, including a 40 percent increase in those seeking naturalization in Chula Vista, according to a KPBS report that is a collaboration with KPCC, KQED and Capital Public Radio.
KPBS interviewed some immigrants who have been eligible for citizenship for years, but said it was Trump’s candidacy that compelled them to become citizens and voters.
Trump has called for deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and building a wall along the enter U.S.-Mexico border. He has likened Mexican immigrants to “rapists” and would deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to parents who came here illegally.
While the Hispanic community is split on which candidate they would support, the vast majority have traditionally voted Democratic.
Thus ironically, Trump’s trashing of immigrants could prove to be his undoing, inspiring a legion of newly-sworn in citizens to cast their votes for anybody but Trump.
Given that the Republican Congress has been adamant in its efforts to block President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms, a wave of new Latino voters just could sweep some Republican lawmakers out of Congress, too – and elect more progressive voices in their place.