This year, a record 32 million Latinos are eligible to vote.
Sylvia Puente, executive director of the nonpartisan Latino Policy Forum, says that expectations for Latino turnout this year are high.
“I think we’re going to see really significant turnout among Latino voters across the nation … even in the state of Illinois,” said Puente. “We are seeing that the first time Latinos are the largest non-white voting bloc in the nation and NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected Officials) predicts that there are over 600,000 registered Latinos to vote in the state of Illinois, and over half a million will come out to vote, which is significantly more than it was in the last presidential election.”
One of the starkest differences between a potential Biden administration and a second Trump administration is immigration policy, says Puente.
“I think this president has done everything he can to dismantle proactive, positive immigration policy in this nation, not only for Latino immigrants – let’s remember the Muslim ban, let’s remember the challenges for a lot of people that are seeking asylum,” she said. “The Migration Policy Institute cataloged 400 actions, policy and administrative actions, that this current administration has done to restrict, to hinder, to roll back, to make immigration all the more challenging.
“So if we have a Biden win, there’s going to be a lot of damage to undo,” she said. ‘These 400 policies, not all of them make headlines, but they really are significant in terms of this country’s openness, and receptiveness and (how welcoming) or not, to immigrants, whether they be from Mexico, Latin America or other countries. I would expect that those kinds of policies would continue under the Trump administration.”