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Torres, Cancela denounce Trump’s record on Latinos

State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, Assemblywoman Selena Torres and several community members denounced President Donald Trump’s record with Latino communities during a conference call scheduled during the first day of the Republican convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The call, sponsored by the Nevada State Democratic Party, was part of a slate of interviews local Democrats will give this week as the Republican convention unfolds.

“Trump has proven over and over again … that the Latino community is just not a part of his agenda,” Torres said. “So I’m horrified to see that he continues to create some type of rhetoric that he is going to be positive for our communities.”

Torres said Trump has sought to vilify immigrants while also cutting much-needed social programs, such as public education. She blamed his administration for spikes in COVID-19 cases and the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on Latinos.

Cancela, who is also a senior adviser to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign, agreed that Trump is only trying to “play lip service” to Latinos this week in an attempt to win over votes after posting a “terrible” record with those communities.

She said Trump has sought to overturn Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), threatened state resources and representation by attempting to add a citizenship question on the U.S. Census and put children in cages along the U.S./Mexico border.

Biden, Cancela said, would offer a path to citizenship for immigrants, a $15 minimum wage and better health insurance.

Sebastian Cardenas, a UNLV student and DACA recipient, said he has changed the way he looks and speaks in an attempt to seem “more American” as he works to become an educator due to mounting anxieties under the current administration.

He said he wished those who have supported Trump’s immigration policies knew how hard his family worked and what they give back to the community.

Eddie Ramos, a Caesars Palace employee, said Trump has been “a nightmare” for immigrants.

“Families are afraid to even go to the grocery store… we’re afraid if he gets elected, will it be worse?” Ramos said.

But Jesus Marquez, a local political consultant and co-chair of the Trump campaign’s Latinos for Trump coalition, said Trump “has been the best president in decades for Latinos.”

Marquez said that, prior to the pandemic, Latinos had the lowest rate of unemployment on record and the highest income and home ownership levels in years.

“In terms of prosperity, he’s been a champion for the Latino community,” Marquez said.

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

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