24-year-old Miriam Cepeda is part of an unlikely group: young, Latina women who support Donald Trump for president.
Cepeda doesn’t just support Trump privately — she actually campaigns for him at the University of Texas in Rio Grande Valley and in the community, not far from where Trump has vowed to build his wall along the South Texas border.
Although she is the daughter of an undocumented immigrant, Cepeda told CNN she strongly agrees with Trump’s immigration and border security policies.
“I first hand have seen … friends that are getting involved with illegal activity that’s associated with drugs or human trafficking,” she said. “It’s an issue that people need to realize is reality.”
Her message is unpopular in Texas’ Hidalgo County, which is one of the few Democratic areas of the deeply red state.
“I get shot down maybe four (out of) five times,” she said. “But at the same time, it just takes one positive feedback to keep you going.”
Results from the March 1 Republican primary show that Trump does have a few pockets of supporters on the South Texas border.
Although Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won most Republicans in his home state, the LA Times reported that Trump scored big victories in four counties on the South border with heavily Hispanic populations.
According to Cepeda, many of these Hispanic citizens are resentful towards undocumented immigrants who receive government services.
“It’s the hardworking people,” she said. “Those that pay the taxes and do what they’re supposed to say, ‘Why do I have to pay?’”
Tony Castañeda, the grandson of Mexican immigrants and former police chief of the border town Eagle Pass, shared the same sentiment. He told CBS News he was all in for Trump.
“A lot of my relatives are still waiting in line on the Mexican side… They’re paying their fees. They’re submitting their paperwork. They’re waiting their period of time,” he said. “Relatives of mine have been on the line for 15 years, trying to get across, trying to get their status. And some people just come in the middle of the night, and then want to live and hide and benefit from a lot of things we have in this country, taking it away from American citizens.”