Why One Hispanic Republican’s Still on the Trump Train After Last Night’s Immigration Speech

“I don’t believe there was anything in the speech that was offensive to a U.S. citizen.”

By Rhonda FanningSeptember 1, 2016 11:17 am|

Last night Donald Trump made his highly anticipated speech on immigration. He took the stage in Phoenix, only hours after meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Many Hispanics and moderate Republicans were hoping to see the GOP presidential candidate ease up on some of his immigration policies. They saw the meeting in Mexico City as a sign Trump might be lightening up. But others were hoping Trump would keep his hard line.

Hispanic Republican Orlando Sanchez is the Harris County Treasurer. He says although he supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the beginning, he jumped on board when Trump won the Republican nomination.

Sanchez thought Rubio was able to acknowledge some of the fiscal difficulties facing the nation, but overall kept an optimistic message for the future of the country. But Sanchez thought Rubio was moving towards an immigration policy of amnesty, a policy that Sanchez wasn’t on board with.

Sanchez says he was satisfied with Trump’s message last night. “It was tough,” he says.

Trump outlined a 10-point program, including the elimination of sanctuary cities, the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ending the catch and release policy for immigrants who may be undocumented, and deportation of criminal immigrants who may be undocumented.

“I think it enforces the law,” Sanchez says. “But I also noticed that he did not talk about mass deportations of undocumented people. He said after we build the wall, after we stop sanctuary cities, after we eliminate the criminal aliens, then we will deal in a humane way with the remaining immigrants.”

Trump also made clear that no immigrants without U.S. documentation would be immune from deportation.

“I don’t believe there was anything in the speech that was offensive to a U.S. citizen,” Sanchez says. “There are millions and millions of Hispanics like myself that are United State citizens that are just as tired as a native-born of seeing our country not enforce the laws that … per the legal representatives in the Congress, have failed to be enforced through the executive branch of government.”

Of Trump’s meeting with Mexican President Peña Nieto, Sanchez says it was the proper move for both parties.

“Peña Nieto understands that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be president and he’s probably being proactive to get to know them a little bit,” he says, “and find out indeed what are the policies that they’re going to implement if elected.”

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.