"They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people" (BreitBart). That is what Donald Trump had to say as part of his campaign regarding Mexicans during an Iowa press conference in January. Obviously, this comment outraged many worldwide and elicited a mass response, which has been called the "Trump Effect." That is, Latinos are responding to Trump’s racist remarks by applying for naturalization to have a say in this year’s Presidential election. There's an estimated 27 million eligible voters and a large percentage are young Latinos. According to Pew Research Center, "nearly 1 in 3 eligible voters on Election Day will be Hispanic, Black, Asian, or another racial or ethnic minority." Hispanics are the largest minority group in the U.S. and they make up 17% of the U.S. population. This is one of the reasons why it’s claimed that Latinos will make a big difference in the elections this year. Trump believed that people would be outraged, but never that this would work out in favor of Latinos.
The article, “Trump’s Effect on the Latino Vote” interviewed five women who were getting ready to have their citizenship interview. They were all Latinas, born in another country, culinary workers, housekeepers, and some even worked in Trump's hotel in Las Vegas. When they were asked why they wanted to becoming naturalized U.S. citizens they responded with, "Trump made me do it." Maria Mendoza, one of the women, said, "I have realized people have erroneous thoughts about all Latinos, they want to pigeonhole us into things we aren't like rapists and drug dealers." She said that lots of people including Trump himself, "don't realize [they] come to his country for a dream, and as Latinos, [they] want to reach that dream."
Everywhere in the U.S. Latinos are becoming more civically involved compared to previous years. From the ever-present Trump piñata at birthday celebrations, to widespread protests closing roads and entries to Trump's’ campaign events, this election has been affecting the Latino population across the country and for the most part, it’s had positive effects. While Donald trump argues that there are only 5 million eligible Latino voters, "every thirty seconds a Latino citizen turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote." This shows how much of an impact they can bring in the long-term political future and for this year’s election. The numbers of people trying to get their citizenship has gone up dramatically by 11 percent. There are also campaigns that are assisting Latinos who are permanent legal residents so they can change their status to full citizens. In states such as California, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado financial aid is offered to cover the $680 application. Donald Trump never would have imagined that things would work out this way for him and his campaign. While his racist discourse has inspired other racist groups around the country to ally with his message, an unintended consequence has been the rise in naturalization and voter registration efforts, and importantly, the uniting of the diverse Latino community so Trump doesn't have a chance at winning the presidency. The Trump effect has a silver-lining after all.
"Donald Trump Offers 5 Million." ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"Exclusive?Donald Trump: Univision Targeting Me on Behalf of Mexican Gov't, Trying to 'Silence' Me - Breitbart." Breitbart News. N.p., 25 June 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"REP. GUTIÉRREZ URGES ELIGIBLE IMMIGRANTS TO BECOME CITIZENS TO EXPRESS DISGUST WITH DONALD TRUMP'S REPUBLICAN PARTY." REP. GUTIÉRREZ URGES ELIGIBLE IMMIGRANTS TO BECOME CITIZENS TO EXPRESS DISGUST WITH DONALD TRUMP'S REPUBLICAN PARTY. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"Trump's Effect On The Latino Vote Has Begun: More Hispanic U.S. Citizens Are Coming." BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.