Republicans are hoping to reap a long-term return on their outreach effort among Hispanic communities, helping new U.S. residents gain their citizenship and eventually cast their first ballot.
The Republican National Committee held a graduation ceremony Tuesday in Doral, Florida, for participants in its civics education training program that prepares legal residents for their naturalization test to become U.S. citizens.
“This is part of our long-term outreach, with community centers but also this program,” said Nicole Morales, RNC spokeswoman. “We’re actually investing in these communities and uplifting these communities and not just going in a month before the election to [ask for] votes.”
The graduates from the program were recognized Tuesday by Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, Florida Republican. A food drive was also held to benefit victims of Hurricane Ian.
The event falls during Hispanic Heritage Month, and less than 40 days before Election Day.
Republicans have been seeking to shore up minority support with the launch of several community centers across the country to reach Blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans and others not traditionally seen as part of the GOP base.
Jaime Florez, the RNC’s Hispanic communications director based out of the Doral community center, said the leftward shift of the Democratic Party has been helpful in bringing in more Hispanics into the Republican fold.
“For some Hispanics, that is a big red signal,” Mr. Florez said. “We’re already seeing things happening that we never thought we would see [in the United States] like empty shelves in the supermarket. What’s happening in terms of the economy, education, and public safety, is very dangerous and resembles the failures in our countries.”
The RNC hosted and planned over 100 events for Hispanic Heritage Month, including cryptocurrency training, folk dancing classes, toy and food drives, and potlucks.
The events took place in multiple swing states including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, as well as Texas, Florida and New Mexico.
This election cycle there are 102 Hispanic House candidates running as Republicans, a new high in candidates of color running on a GOP ticket.
Those candidates include Monica De La Cruz and Cassy Garcia running in South Texas, as well as Mayra Flores who will face Democratic Rep. Vincente Gonzalez in November.
Yesli Vega, a Prince William County supervisor who helped spearhead Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Hispanic outreach efforts, is running against Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Virginia Democrat in a purple district.
Meanwhile, Democrats have been seeking to increase their own get-out-the-vote efforts and visibility in Hispanic communities.
Earlier this year, President Biden addressed the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at their annual gala, touting his administration’s commitment to Hispanic advancement and blasting GOP governors who have shipped migrants to sanctuary cities to send a message to the White House about out-of-control illegal immigration.
“Instead of working with us on solutions, Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props. What they’re doing is simply wrong. It’s un-American. It’s reckless,” Mr. Biden said.
Republicans need a net gain of just five seats to flip the House. Election Day is Nov. 8.
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