Being a Republican Latino hasn’t come easy for Anthony Cabassa and Andrid Barron. They say their support for President Trump is an uphill battle and has cost them relationships.
Anthony Cabassa was born and raised in Los Angeles and is a son of immigrants. Cabassa became a Republican and Trump supporter in 2016.
“I’ve had death threats. I’ve had people wishing me to die. I’ve had people wishing that my children would catch COVID and die because of the president’s rhetoric,” Cabassa told Reuters.
The 32-year-old father of three says he first voted in the election of 2016.
“What ended up making me get involved into politics was actually Donald Trump. Because I started researching who the guy was and if he was really as racist as people were telling me that he was,” said Cabassa.
Cabassa joined the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, as a chairman in California. He says his involvement has enabled him to get involved in local politics and grassroots outreach to educate the community about the Republican party.
When it comes to the Trump’s rhetoric against Latinos and his campaign promise to build the border wall, Cabassa says he’d rather look at his policies and how his values align with the president.
“What I like a lot about him is that he truly seems to care about this country and all the people who are here. Not just Americans, white or African American people, he likes all people because his policies help all people,” said Cabassa.
Andrid Barron is a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiary. His immigration status doesn’t allow him to vote, but if he could, Barron says he’d be all in for President Trump.
“What I like about Donald Trump is the fact that he’s a businessman. He knows what he’s doing when it comes to finances, when it comes to the very things that he actually says he gets done,” said Barron. “There’s some stuff that he has said in the past days, that’s unfiltered. And a lot of people go based off what he said or what other people say about him. But I go off things that he actually does.”
Barron’s support for Trump has cost him friendships and followers, as he pursues a career in music.
“It was difficult at first because you lose friends, respect. You lose a lot of family members due to politics and then just opposing opinions for the most part,” said Barron.
Barron was born in Queretaro, Mexico and came to the United States when he was 3 years old.
Barron has renewed his DACA three times, which has given him the opportunity to go to school and hold down a steady job as an electronic mobility specialist.
He’s not overly concerned by President Trump’s attempts to overturn DACA in the Supreme Court.
“Surface level thinking would think, okay, that’s bad cause he’s trying to end DACA, so he could send me away. But I think deeper on this,” said Barron. “And the first process was building the wall. It’s technically not finished yet, but once it’s built up, we can actually offer security for our country and stop people from coming in illegally, that we can focus on those who are trying to come in legally and focus on those who are already here, like myself.”
Barron remains hopeful that one day, he and some of his family members will be able to obtain a permanent status in the US. He says citizenship would mean he could join the military and live freely in the country that he loves.
(Production: Sandra Stojanovic, Norma Galeana)