I had a great conversation last week about Ted Cruz with Alejandro Negron, the host of the Hispanic Agenda on Channel 8/Telemundo, who kindly introduced me as “a leading Latino conservative voice and advocate for Latinos inside the Republican Party.”
Alejandro started by asking me about the media voices saying Cruz is not really a Latino, and whether that is fair. Of course, I defended Cruz:
“It’s totally unfair, because it tries to create this perception that the Hispanic community is a monolithic community, that there is one Hispanic agenda that all Hispanics have to buy into,” I told him. “To say that he’s not good on immigration, he’s less Hispanic, it’s ridiculous and I would say even condescending . . . Latinos are above that.”
Ted Cruz will not only push candidates like Rand Paul and Jeb Bush on the social issues, like life and marriage, but also on economic issues with his morally populist economic message. However, especially on the issue of immigration, GOP candidates have to present a balanced perspective:
It’s all right to talk about border security. It’s all right to talk about domestic enforcement. But they also have to address the big elephant in the room: the undocumented population. What are you going to do with undocumented immigrants? In that respect, I think that Gov. Bush and Sen. Rand Paul have addressed that issue and said that we have to look at the undocumented population and find a way to bring them out of the shadows. Ted Cruz, in that respect, keeps saying we should only focus on border security, and that really doesn’t help him if were to become the nominee.
Alfonso Aguilar is the executive director of American Principles in Action’s Latino Partnership.