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Hispanic Voters In Wisconsin Could Play Major Role In 2020 Election

Angelina Mosher Salazar
Abraham Alvarez holds a sign proclaiming that he's Latino, and he votes. He was casting his ballot on Milwaukee's near south side in November 2018.

Milwaukee is expected to be a hotbed of political activity this presidential election cycle.

This week, the city will host the national convention for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). The organization was founded in 1929 and is the oldest and the largest Latino civil rights organization in the country. It’s expected to bring an influx of 15,000-20,000 people to the city. 

“We’re trying to plant a flag in the Midwest. Milwaukee and Wisconsin, our swing presidential states are going to be important in this 2020 coming year,” says Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s president.

Garcia says that while Hispanic voters make up less than 10% of Wisconsin voters, they could make a difference here.

“In the last presidential election Trump won Wisconsin by barely less than 20,000 votes. So, 50,000 to 100,000 votes can make a big difference in a state like Wisconsin,” Garcia says.

He says the road to the White House will go through the barrios and neighborhoods of Latino America. And he says LULAC’s goal, starting with the national convention in Milwaukee, is to make sure issues that are important to their members are front and center.

“Whether that’s the refugees on the border, whether that’s health care, whether that’s education and the ability for first generation students to attend universities and colleges throughout the United States. We have a large group of veterans, are they getting the care they need?” Garcia says.

When it comes to the topic of immigration reform, Garcia says yes, asylum laws need to be changed so that people can apply in neighboring countries and know whether they have a credible claim before making it the U.S.

But he also says that when it comes to people who are already here without the correct documentation, there’s no way we can send all of them back.

He says the majority are taxpaying, law abiding people.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.
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