A senior Latina adviser has quit former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign amid frustration over the candidate’s position on immigration.
The top aide, Vanessa Cárdenas, was in charge of outreach to Latino and African-American organizations. The social bio of the former Biden National Coalitions Director now reads “formerly with @joebiden.”
Politico was first to report on Cárdenas’s departure.
Two sources close to the former aide told the news outlet that her exit was prompted by the campaign’s lack of focus on Latino issues.
“The campaign is just hyper-focused on whites in Iowa and African-Americans and it placed less value on Latino outreach,” one immigration activist said.
“Vanessa kept banging her head against the wall trying to get them to take the community more seriously,” another revealed. “And Biden just really won’t change when it comes to the way he talks about immigration. It became too much.”
The development comes as Biden faces discontent from Latino groups for his refusal to commit to a moratorium on deportations — something his 2020 rivals, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have pledged to do.
On Thursday, Biden was confronted by a protester in South Carolina, who pressed the former vice president to end all deportations if elected president.
“I will not stop all deportations. If you have a, if you commit a crime, that’s a felony,” Biden shot back at the protester, who identified himself as an activist and 2008 Obama campaign volunteer.
The protester was one of several members of the far-left immigrant rights group, known as Movimiento Cosecha, to protest Biden at the campaign stop.
Following the incident, Movimiento Cosecha issued a statement condemning the former vice president’s unwillingness to support a “full moratorium” on deportations.
“By now, it is clear that the immigrant community cannot trust Biden,” the group said. “We won’t accept empty promises of immigration reform, while our families are torn apart. We cannot allow history to repeat itself.”