With all of the hype surrounding the upcoming presidential election and reports of Facebook executives censoring conservative views, one issue appears to have been largely forgotten: immigration reform. This issue is especially important because it could greatly affect the Republican brand for years to come.
Few views differ more on this issue than those of presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Many Facebook users are not aware that Zuckerberg, along with other executives from Google, Yahoo, and LinkedIn, joined forces in the spring of 2013 to launch FWD.us, an organization that advocates for immigration reform in the United States. “We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 2013 Washington Post editorial, “and it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.”
FWD.us advocates for specific goals in immigration reform such as securing the nation’s borders, providing a pathway to citizenship, developing an employment verification systems, and strengthening American families and the economy. According to its website, FWD.us holds to the belief that every person should have the chance to contribute to our economy and society.
Then Donald Trump entered the scene.
Trump’s views are drastically different than those that the Facebook founder promotes. Trump is a proponent of immigrant deportation, a border wall, and stricter policies concerning citizenship and employment. His staunch position on immigration, however, has inspired a pattern that FWD.us is calling “The Trump Effect.”
According to FWD.us, Trump’s clear aversion to illegal immigration and even disdain for them has had an astounding effect on the nation’s Hispanic population. Hispanics, upset by Trump’s rhetoric concerning Latino immigrants, are becoming registered to vote as members of the Democratic Party. If this trend continues, the number of Latino voters is projected to double by 2030 from 12.5% to 25%, according to the Pew Research Center.
This could spell trouble for the GOP.
“It sounds to us like [Trump’s opinion] is the Republican Party,” said one young Latina in a video released last month by FWD.us. “If it’s not, this needs to stop.”