Trump defies immigration policy critics, on pace for record Hispanic vote

Defying criticism from both the left and right that his strict immigration policies wood doom him with hispanic voters, President Trump is set to outperform for a Republican with latino voters according to new polling.

WashingtonTimes reports he was told being strict on illegal immigration would doom him among Hispanic voters.

Yet President Trump has defied their predictions, from the moment he delivered his iconic address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013 — warning the Republican Party that legalizing 11 million illegal immigrants was political suicide — through the 2016 presidential election and into the White House.

Now nine months out from his second Election Day, and despite a tenure in the White House that has involved building a border wall, stepping up deportations and insulting some Latin American nations as “s—hole” countries, Mr. Trump is as strong as ever among Hispanic voters, according to the polls.

One poll puts his approval rating as high as 44% and shows him winning 41% of the Hispanic vote in a head-to-head match-up with Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont. That would best his 2016 showing of 28% support and put him in the running with President George W. Bush for the highest share of Hispanic votes for a GOP candidate.

“Latinos have lost the fear of Donald Trump,” said Alfonso Aguilar, who ran the Department of Homeland Security’s citizenship office in the Bush administration and now runs the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

Democrats have taken notice, too.

Kristian Ramos, a former spokeswoman for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, published a piece in the Atlantic sounding alarms about Mr. Trump’s numbers.

“Displeasure with the president over the past three years has not led to an increase in support for the opposing party,” she said.

Mr. Trump has improved his standing among Hispanics in just the last week in two regular polls — the Politico/Morning Consult survey and the Economist/YouGov survey. Last week both had the president at 35% approval in the Hispanic breakout of their national survey. This week he’s at 39% in the Morning Consult poll and 38% in the YouGov survey.

His best numbers came in an Emerson College Polling survey last week. The poll director told The Washington Times that Mr. Trump had a 44% approval rating, and in a head-to-head showdown with Mr. Sanders, the leading Democrat, Mr. Trump garnered 41% support.