In what could be a sign that Republicans cannot simply win over Hispanics by being Democrat-lite on immigration issues, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) received no love from Hispanic leaders a day after he made a left turn on immigration policy and called for work visas for illegal immigrants.
Some even found him to be “offensive.”
Paul made his comments in support of amnesty on Tuesday, at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, to David Axelrod, the former top adviser to President Barack Obama who is now the Institute’s director.
On Wednesday, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, before Paul spoke at a Hispanics for School Choice event at St. Anthony’s, Wisconsin State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, a Democrat of Hispanic descent, blasted Paul for using “incredibly cruel rhetoric when discussing those most affected by our country’s broken immigration system.”
“As an alumna of St. Anthony’s I am disappointed that Senator Paul was invited to speak at a roundtable discussion today,” Zamarripa said. “I hope community members use Senator Paul’s visit as an opportunity to educate themselves on his radical viewpoints on so many legislative issues, especially immigration reform.”
According to the Sentinel, Tony Baez, a Hispanic activist who is president and CEO of Centro Hispano, said Paul’s visit was “offensive” and added that “the manipulation of Latinos in this day and age cannot be allowed.”
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), elected into office with the push of billionaires and the Tea Party, is definitely among this party’s most extreme and insensitive members,” Baez reportedly said. “We have stood by to see the growth of vouchers in the Latino community and Latinos for Choice, but we can not allow insults and the manipulation of poor and working class Latinos.”