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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ– After a fierce presidential race between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump, a diverse group of more than 200 million Americans will go to the polls on November 8 to elect their next president.
But what are the implications for the Latino population in the U.S. with the election of a new president?
According to Voto Latino, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, there are 27.3 million eligible Latino voters this year, which means that Latinos make up almost 12% percent of the total eligible voters in the United States.
Latinos will represent a key concern in the new president’s internal and external policy. During the campaign, the two aspiring presidential candidates’ rhetoric regarding Latinos, overlapped in two major issues: immigration and foreign trade policy.
In terms of immigration policy, there has been a big disagreement between the two candidates. For Donald Trump, immigration has been the star issue of his campaign. His speech was based on emotions, rather than practical solutions to deal with the subject.
For example, he went as far as to declare that he will build an “impenetrable wall” on the border between Mexico and the United States and deport thousands of illegal immigrants. He has also tried to link immigration with threats of international terrorism and drug trafficking.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is not proposing a totally new approach to the issue, her standpoint has rather centered on continuing along the line that aims to legalize the situation for undocumented immigrants, building on President Barack Obama’s legacy.
In terms of foreign trade policy, so far both candidates have criticized trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP.
Trump emphasized that he would renegotiate the international trade agreements to help U.S. citizens recover their jobs.
Clinton also criticized the agreements for similar reasons during her campaign, but it is expected that she will eventually support them if elected, as she has previously done during Bill Clinton and Barack Obama presidential terms.
Beyond these two main subjects, there are other fundamental internal and external issues concerning the Latino population, including, the future policy toward Cuba, education, security, international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, among others.
According to a recent Pew Research report, “Latinos have favored the Democratic Party over the Republican Party in every presidential election since at least the 1980s, but their electoral impact has long been limited by low voter turnout and a population concentrated in non-battleground states.”
It remains to be seen whether Latino turnout will set a record in the November 8 elections.