NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Donald Trump’s campaign bluntly called out Hispanic immigrants as a source of major problems in the country. Yet still, Hispanics favored him more than Mitt Romney four years prior.
“Twenty nine percent of Latinos in the U.S. voting for Trump should remind us to not think of them as a monolithic group,” said April Yoder, a University of New Haven professor specializing in Latin American Studies. “Recognize there’s a lot of diversity in the Latino population.”
Father James Manship is the spiritual leader at an overwhelmingly Hispanic Parish in Fair Haven, St. Rose of Lima. He said the 29 percent who voted for Trump may see themselves as trying to protect any personal progress they’ve made.
“Mentality that we have, that I’m in a boat, and I have to pull the ladder up behind me,” Manship said. “Because what little I have, someone may take it. I think that is the fear.”
But he said most of his parishioners are in fear of what a Trump presidency will mean for Hispanics, undocumented or not.
“History has shown over and over again, the immigrant makes our country strong,” Manship said.
Many Hispanic immigrants come from countries more left-leaning than the United States. Which helps explain the strong Hispanic Democratic voting bloc here.
“I think politically Latin America is much more liberal than the U.S.,” Yoder said.
That 29 percent Hispanic vote for Trump will also include a strong number of Cuban-Americans in south Florida, who have traditionally voted more Republican. Here in Connecticut, we have nearly 300,000 Hispanics, totaling more than 15 percent of the state population. That makes them the largest minority group in the state.