Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric has sparked an interesting phenomenon of more immigrants applying for citizenship just so they can vote against him.
According to the New York Times, naturalization applications surged by 11 percent in 2015. Advocates reportedly say they estimate applications could reach one million in 2016, which is about 200,000 more than the average in recent years.
It is relatively common for naturalizations to increase during election years; however, Trump’s rise to the forefront has given immigrants an extra nudge. He has publicly described Mexican immigrants as rapists and killers, and he has vowed to build an impenetrable wall at the U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it.
He has also proposed banning Muslims from the U.S. and alluded to resurrecting internment camps, among other outlandish and illegal ideas.
“I want to vote so Donald Trump won’t win,” said Ms. Villegas, 32, one of several hundred legal residents, mostly Mexicans, who crowded into a Denver union hall as volunteers helped them fill out applications for citizenship. “He doesn’t like us,” she added.
Villegas has reportedly been living in the United States for more than a decade and even got married and had two children here, however, she never felt compelled to apply for citizenship until now.
Naturalization drives are occurring in Colorado, Nevada and in Florida — crucial states where Latino voters could greatly impact the vote.
“People who are eligible are really feeling the urgency to get out there,” said Tara Raghuveer, deputy director of the National Partnership for New Americans, a coalition that helped put on an application workshop in Denver. “They are worried by the prospect that someone who is running for president has said hateful things.”
The funny thing is that Trump actually thinks he is viewed favorably among Latinos. Last month, he actually said he “will do really well with Hispanics,” despite all the negative comments he has made about them and the backlash he’s received — he has the audacity to be so arrogant.
Hey Trump, just because you have immigrants working for you, doesn’t mean they actually like you.
While there is no hard deadline for immigrants who wish to vote in November to apply for naturalization, immigrant groups are encouraging people to get applications in before May 1 because it will take five months for federal officials to approve them and new citizens need adequate time to register to vote.
Although the vast majority of Latinos intend to vote against Trump, Mary Victorio — a Mexican-born student at the University of Colorado — is reportedly thankful to him. “He gave us that extra push we needed to get ready to vote, to prove to people who see us negatively they are wrong,” she said.
If minority and immigrant voter turnout is strong enough, there may just be a glimmer of hope for Americans to prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality.
Read More: Donald Trump Incites Violent Attack On Latino Man
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters/David Ryder