Immigration: The Two Faces of the Republican Party

“Do Republican Party officials believe Latino immigrants are coming to “replace” Americans, or do they think Latinos are the party’s future? The answer affects whether there will be a legislative solution for young people brought to America by their parents.”

They Need the Latinos

With this introduction to his analysis in Forbes magazine, Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Politics, explains the dilemma that the Republican Party is going through with regard to the Latino community in general and the undocumented in particular.
What was Lincoln’s party and is now Donald Trump’s private party is split in two. Not in two equal parts, since the absolute majority trails behind Trump. He is broken. Politically, it became a far-right militant organization with a fascist wing.
But the party has a second concern; it also uses the economic crisis and the difficulties that Joe Biden’s national leadership is going through to win the national elections in November 2022 and then the presidential elections in two years. For that he needs the Latino vote. .
Republicans are aware that in 2020 a turn of Latino voters towards Donald Trump began. Not only in Miami, not only in the Cuban-American community as it has traditionally been, but in others and even in towns on the border with Mexico.
More than ever, Republicans are hoping to get enough Latino votes to win their respective races.
This is what the Republican Party is doing: seeking the Latino vote while sharpening the knives to launch an anti-immigrant offensive in 2023.
This is reflected in the pages of the New York Times, which headlined the article by its immigration correspondent Jennifer Medina: “Pushing an immigration conspiracy theory, while courting Latinos” when referring to the Republican party.

The Replacement Theory

In August 2017, a mob of neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Back then, almost all GOP spokesmen condemned hate speech.
Not anymore. Since then, the ideas of replacement, and anti-Semitism in general, have taken root in the party, gained legitimacy and spread dangerously in its ranks.
The elections on November 8 will tell us what proportion of the party has fallen to this level.
On the eve of the elections, the cycle of war mongering and generation of hatred, which gave Republicans so much success in past elections, is repeated. Thus, in recent weeks the television networks are bombarding the viewers with “echoes of messages from a decade ago, pointing to the encounters on the southern border, juxtaposing images of tattooed gang members with rival politicians.


“Republican lawmakers claiming immigrants are part of a “great replacement” of White voters has been in the news for months,” writes Anderson.

The Keys of Hate

“The Great Replacement” is part of the global “white genocide” conspiracy theory, which was adopted by American neo-Nazis and adapted to the conditions of the country. It claims that the Democratic government, controlled by Jews and supported by mainstream media, is carrying out a policy designed to replace whites in power.
To achieve this, they promote legal or illegal immigration of Latinos, Arabs and Orientals, as well as advance mixed marriages, guarantee rights and influence to African-Americans, grant citizenship to the undocumented so they can vote against whites, legalize abortion to reduce the white population, and promote the use of methods to reduce the birth rate in this community.

The ultimate goal, acording to this propaganda, would be: to eliminate the white population.

This lunatic idea is even more widely accepted in parts of Europe and is the official position of the Viktor Orban government in Hungary.

Application in the United States

The accusations also give an idea of what would be the measures that a government led by Trump and supporters of the theory would adopt, in the same way that their accusations of electoral fraud are only justifications for the fraud that they will undertake (or try to undertake) in just a few days.

“Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the No. 3 House Republican, and other Republican lawmakers have come under scrutiny … for previously echoing the racist ‘great replacement’ theory…” says the Washington Post.

Another extremist spokesman has been Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who in a recent debate said, “First of all, I wish President Biden was more concerned with defending every inch of American territory against invasion at our southern border.”
And of course, the movement’s champion, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose public addresses frequently touch on the theme: “Biden’s five million illegal immigrants are about to replace you. Replacement of your jobs. And replace your children in school. Coming from all over the world, they are also replacing your culture.”
The nonprofit media organization America’s Voice collects “great replacement” expressions among Republican politicians and candidates. Here is their conclusion:
“Unfortunately, the white nationalist conspiracies and nativism espoused by J.D. Vance are part of the Republican Party today. From Kari Lake and Blake Masters in Arizona to Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia and Elise Stefanik in New York, the GOP’s embrace of these dangerous falsehoods and conspiracies has spread across the country.”

Dangerous Embrace or Insidious Silence: Either way, the GOP Puts a Target on the Backs of Immigrants


Paul Waldman wrote: “At the moment, the Republican Party is dominated by two forces that are distinct but operate together: an ideological extremism born of political reaction and an opposition to democracy that manifests itself every day. once more into absolute madness.”

Anti-Immigrant Ideology

The ideology of the anti-immigrant Republican politician actually is simple, concise:
It is possible to draw a geography of racism within the GOP by detecting the most racist candidates, or the most anti-immigrant, in the races that will be decided on November 8 for the Senate.
Boundless, the site of a major immigration law firm, explains how the existence of these candidates expands, magnifies and places anti-immigrant sentiment at the center of the party’s ideology.
“Certain congressional candidates have come out fiercely in opposition to immigration and have garnered massive support. In cases where such candidates are running for office in specific battleground states, their stances on immigration could reverberate nationally and impact the lives of millions”.
These candidates have made their rejection of immigrants the spearhead of their campaigns.
And yet, there is also a duality in them: some build an anti-Latino hate campaign and at the same time try to get the Latino vote, which in many cases could be decisive.
Thus, in Arizona, where Blake Masters is seeking to reach the Senate, Latinos are 30% of the electorate. He speaks to them.
He said: “It is obvious to everyone that Democrats see illegal immigrants as future voters. No ‘theory’ is needed to observe that”.

Another case: that of Katie Britt, who will win (99% probability, according to Five Thirty Eight), in her first campaign for elected office, and for whom immigrants are guilty of the increase in “deadly drugs, violent crimes and human trafficking of people in Alabama and for fueling the nation’s opioid and fentanyl crisis.”

There also are Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, author of 14 anti-immigrant laws in the Senate; Herschel Walker of Georgia, Donald C. Bolduc of New Hampshire, Ted Budd of North Carolina, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and J.D. Vance of Ohio.

Nevertheless, the GOP seeks the Latino vote

In parallel, the party has successfully intensified its efforts to increase the flow of support from Latino voters.
There is a powerful reason for the Republican insistence on advancing along the two parallel tracks – anti-Hispanic racism and rapprochement with the Hispanic vote – and it works.
Says the New York Times: “Republicans have long pushed anti-immigration policies, particularly in the Trump era. This year, Republicans in Ohio, Alabama, Texas and other states have sent National Guard troops to the southern border, debated declaring a border “invasion” under the wartime powers of the Constitution and warned that the flood of immigrants would soon force everyone to speak Spanish.”
Those messages have not always repelled Hispanic voters.
To a certain extent, it is a testimony that Hispanic solidarity is faltering, between those who were born here, who are citizens, who vote, and immigrants, especially the undocumented, who have nothing but hope.
All this gives rise to the question of whether that solidarity really existed, and whether the Latino, as a concept that encompasses all Latin American communities, really exists as a unit.
And regarding the Republican Party, we wonder if the dilemma of love or hate towards Latinos will continue after the elections. The desire to please could return in two years or less, for the next election cycle. The nativist and neo-Nazi rhetoric has unfortunately not been repelled, opposed or protested by the party, let alone by the omnipresent Leader Donald Trump. With ten days left until the elections, it remains to be seen if that effort will disappear once the mission of regaining control of the cameras is accomplished – if indeed, and in many cases thanks to the Latino vote, they succeed.



  • Founder and co-editor of Latino Los Angeles. Editor Emeritus of La Opinion, former Editor-in-Chief. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a journalist, columnist, blogger, poet, novelist, and short story writer. Was the editorial director of Huffington Post Voces. Editor-in-chief of the weekly Tiempo in Israel. Is the father of three grown children and lives with Celia and with Rosie, Almendra and Yinyit in Los Angeles.

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