Past Features

December 13, 2016

On the El Paso border, Trump's appeal
with Latinos defies expectations

Trump voters Ismael Aguayo and his wife, Darlene Aguayo, worship Nov. 20 at
their church in El Paso.
(Ivan Pierre Aguirre / For The Washington Post)
Washington Post   
   El Paso, Texas --- Ramon De La Rosa predicts it'll take President-elect Donald Trump just six months to make America great again.
    The 73-year-old is eager to see Trump bring back jobs from places such as China and stop taxing hard-working Americans to pay for food stamps and other entitlement programs.
    When Trump launched his presidential campaign and labeled Mexicans who enter the country illegally as rapists, criminals and drug dealers, De La Rosa, who was born in Mexico and crossed the border at 17 to become a U.S. resident, was not offended. It also didn’t faze him that Trump pledged to build a massive wall along the border here in an effort to keep people just like him out.
    “I know he didn’t mean that about all Mexicans,” De La Rosa said, noting that Trump just talks like a “tontito,” a Spanish term meaning “fool.” “He knows nothing about politics and nothing about speaking politically correct.”
    Counter to what many polls and pundits expected, De La Rosa --- who for decades was not a U.S. citizen and earned the right to vote just 10 years ago --- was among the 29 percent of Hispanic voters across the country who chose Trump on Election Day, according to exit polls.