Martin Do Nascimento/KUT
Call it the Democrats' DACA paradox. They need to deliver on DACA to win the Latino vote, but it could cost them in key Trump-supporting battleground states.
LAS VEGAS—Jose Echeverria held back tears, sitting at a table in the Culinary Workers Union offices in Las Vegas, as he laid out, simply and clearly, how the Trump administration’s DACA policy had put his family in the crosshairs.
First, last year, President Donald Trump announced that he planned to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that keeps Echeverria’s 23-year-old daughter—and some 800,000 undocumented immigrants—safe from deportation. Then, in January, the president promptly eliminated the temporary protected-status program for Salvadoran refugees, a designation that allowed Echeverria, who emigrated from El Salvador in 2001, to live, marry and raise his family in the United States for almost two decades.
Echeverria is not a citizen, so he can’t vote in his home state of Nevada, a major 2018 battleground state with a booming Latino population. But his situation reverberates through entire communities of friends, family, coworkers and customers—all feeling the weight of his fears and his aspiration for that most American of dreams, a better life.
Many Democrats in the state worry that the hopelessness felt by Echeverria and hundreds of thousands like him—coupled with nearly a decade’s worth of frustration and disappointment—could keep Latinos, a key constituency, at home this Election Day, potentially costing Democrats their best chance to flip seats in the Senate and win control of Congress in the midterms.
“They’ve been promised this for I don’t know how long,” Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev.) told Newsweek amid the ongoing disputes over immigration reform. “They feel betrayed by Republicans and disillusioned by Democrats.”