PHOENIX — Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine delivered a speech in Phoenix on Thursday on the importance of Latino voters and this election’s impact on immigration reform.
In his remarks, which were delivered in Spanish, Kaine focused on this history of Hispanics in America to show the demographic is not only part of America, but has been here since its founding.
“People sometimes forget – and some may not even know – that the Hispanic community has been part of our country since the Spanish arrived in St. Augustine in 1565,” he said. “That was well before the British landed in North America.”
Kaine went on to paint a picture of what he and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would like to see: An America that embraces its differences.
“We need all Americans, from all backgrounds, to help write the next chapters in our nation’s story, just as you have always done,” he said.
Kaine then shifted his speech to immigration. He said Arizona became one of the founding states behind the modern immigrants right movement after people protested the controversial SB 1070 immigration law passed in 2010.
“That battle isn’t over,” he said. “Right now, in this election, you are all leading the way in the next phase of progress.”
Kaine also said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would be bad for Latinos in America.
He mentioned Trump’s past statements portraying Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists, his insults aimed at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and his feud with federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump said was unable to perform his duties because of his Mexican heritage.
“Judge Curiel is as American as I am,” Kaine said. “And he’s as American as Donald Trump.”
He also brought up former Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed SB 1070 into law, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is facing criminal contempt-of-court charges for refusing to stop his immigration patrols after a judge ordered him to stop.
Brewer said that Latinos don’t vote — a comment she later clarified — and Arpaio has said numerous times that Trump will received a lot of Hispanic votes.
“Do you think he’s right? … Do you think she’s right?”
In the final part of his speech, Kaine reiterated numerous campaign promises, including working to get Latinos into better paying jobs and helping them get a college education.
Kaine will host another event Thursday in Tucson.
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