American Dream looms large as election issue for Hispanic voters

By Ana Milena Varon

Los Angeles, Oct 27 (efe-epa).- Is the American Dream still within reach?

Two Hispanic women working hard for their chosen candidate in the Nov. 3 United States presidential election – Laura Jimenez, Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden’s Latino engagement director; and Lourdes Aguirre, a member of the Latinos for Trump organization’s Advisory Board – agree that it is.

But they disagree sharply over which candidate would best help immigrants in the United States prosper over the next four years.

The economy and health care stand out as the top two issues for Hispanics, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, with the proportion of Latinos saying those issues are “very important” to their vote coming in at 80 percent and 76 percent, respectively.

In both cases, those figures are even higher than the totals for all US adults (79 percent and 68 percent).

With that in mind, Aguirre and Jimenez laid out the case for their chosen candidate in remarks to Efe.

“The American Dream is a reality with President Donald Trump because of the opportunities that have been created under his administration,” Aguirre said.

The Cuban-born businesswoman said the US head of state has removed regulations that were a barrier to success, including lowering taxes on small businesses, and thereby helped immigrants in the US improve their lives.

She also hit back at the notion that Trump is anti-immigrant, saying that the president’s policies have helped prevent criminals from preying on undocumented migrants and that he also has promoted legal immigration.

Jimenez, however, pointed out that Trump rose to America’s highest office after launching his campaign with offensive remarks about Mexican immigrants, whom he accused of bringing drugs and crime into the country and committing rapes.

“I’m sure it’s still possible to achieve the ‘American Dream’ in the United States, but to do so we need to dismantle all the bad policies imposed by the Trump administration and start humanizing immigrants and their goals,” the Democrat said.

“That’s why I’m working with Joe Biden,” she added.

Both Aguirre and Jimenez arrived in the US as young girls. The former arrived with her parents and siblings on the last so-called Freedom Flight carrying refugees from Cuba in the 1970s.

“For me it was the difference between communist oppression and freedom,” said Aguirre, whose family initially lived in Los Angeles.

The Republican later moved to Florida, where she launched a successful real-estate business and raised a family of her own.

For her part, Jimenez arrived at the age of five from the Dominican Republic with her mother and siblings and settled in the New York City borough of the Bronx, where her mother worked long hours as a single parent to provide for their family.

Both women said their preferred candidate has a strong ability to relate to Hispanics.

Biden manages to identify the concerns of each of these communities, and his campaign has embraced different Hispanic groups that support him, including “Salvadorenos con Biden” and “Cubanos con Biden,” Jimenez said.

Aguirre, for her part, said Trump’s unfavorable image among some Hispanic groups is attributable to unfair media coverage.

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