The Wall that Trump has Already Built
By Jack Castanoli
In his acceptance of the 2020 Republican Nomination for President on August 27, President Donald Trump claimed that the 93 miles of border wall with Mexico will be torn down if Joe Biden is elected President. This assertion lacks any evidence, but Trump has built an invisible wall throughout his administration that may just be torn down by the Biden Administration. Trump has built an invisible wall dividing the nation and the Sun Belt, dividing families and races, dividing hopes and dreams: the wall of fear.
Trump began his campaign for President in 2015 by describing Mexicans as “rapists” and that they “bring drugs [and] crime” as they immigrate to the country. This false claim has instilled a level of fear in Latinx immigrants across the Sun Belt that has and will continue to drastically skew the outcome of future elections. Talisa Treviño of McAllen, TX echoes the sentiment of fear in the Rio Grande valley of South Texas.
“McAllen is a sanctuary city home to many immigrants and most immigrants don’t vote or fill out census forms because they’re scared the government will have their information on file,” Treviño said.
The resurgence of the Democratic Party in Sun Belt states, such as Arizona and Texas, is in much part due to the prominence of Latinx voters in the region who have traditionally skewed more to the left. The very basis of a democratic victory in this region, however, is solely based on turnout.
According to Pew Research, 30.4% of eligible voters in Texas are Hispanic, yet in 2016, only 40.5% of these voters turned out to vote. On Aug. 19, The GW College Democrats staged outreach to predominantly Latinx voters by partnering with the Texas Democratic Party to have a phone bank in South Texas.
The phone bank centralized around the border city of McAllen, where Trump staged a photo-op at the Border Patrol Headquarters in January 2019. Manuel Wallick was one of the GW students that participated in the phone bank.
“My luck overall wasn’t great that night and I didn’t speak to many people, but some were Spanish speaking,” Wallick said. “I speak some Spanish, but not enough for voting and all.”
Wallick was one of only a few GWCD members who had some Spanish background, and other attendees had similar issues of engaging in conversation with Spanish speakers. This one sole event is a representation of the larger issue at hand: the failure of Democrats to reach Latinx voters and limit their fears of voting.
However, the Biden campaign is making efforts to fix this issue. Recently, they announced that it will spend $15 million to run Spanish language ads in print, online, and on radio and TV in Florida and five other states. As for GWCD, there is still much more potential for Latinx outreach.
“I think GW Dems could try to get as many Spanish speakers involved as possible with phone banks but Dems more widely as well,” Wallick said.
Jack Castanoli is a freshman from Elmhurst, Illinois majoring in political communication.
Note: The GW College Democrats News & Blog Committee’s mission is to highlight, empower, and facilitate the political expression of its members. As such, the views expressed in this article are based on the opinions of its author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the whole of GW College Democrats, its executive board, or its senior deputy board.