Alabamian whose family immigrated from Mexico delivers must-hear take on illegal immigration
(Audio above: “Raul” calls into Yellowhammer Radio)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — On Monday’s edition of Yellowhammer Radio, Host Cliff Sims received a call that is likely to raise more than a few eyebrows. A Birmingham resident named Raul, an American citizen of Mexican descent and a self-described conservative, called in to discuss his perspective on illegal immigration and Donald Trump’s controversial comments on the issue.
“Trump has figured out a way to attract voters,” he said. “What he is doing is firing up our base…he’s touching our hearts and minds and there’s no other candidate that’s really doing that… He rubbed people the wrong way [on immigration] by saying it the way he did. However, it needed to be said.”
Raul’s comments may come as a surprise to many people who have watched the backlash to Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best; they’re not sending you,” Trump said during his presidential announcement speech. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump has repeatedly defended his comments, saying “all (he’s) doing is telling the truth.”
During his call into Yellowhammer Radio Monday, Raul said he agrees.
“There are a lot of bad people coming across [the border],” he explained. “When my parents came across in the late 50s, they came across for a better life. I thank God every day that they came here because I’m living the dream — the American dream. They came the right way, they weren’t here illegally… There has to be a limit to who’s coming in and there has to be a watchful eye as to who we’re letting in.”
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Raul went on to weigh in on what he believes is the problem: the border is not being tightly controlled.
“The system that’s in place now, there’s a line I think we have just let people cross. When my parents came there was a bit more control of who was coming in… My parents became American citizens immediately when they had the chance. I had a grandmother who became an American citizen when she was 100 years old. That’s how much they loved this country.”
And according to Raul, the Obama administration is only making matters worse.
“Obama has really exacerbated the problem, and I think they’re doing it for political purposes,” he said. “That’s why I support Trump. There are a lot of people like me who support what he’s saying because we see it in our communities where we have a lot of bad elements coming in.”
After listening to Raul’s surprising take on immigration, Sims asked him why he is a conservative.
“My father was a die-hard Reaganite. I was in high school and my father thought that Reagan did the right things to bring down the USSR,” he explained. “He always thought that Reagan did the right things to help people like him and to help people find a better way and a better life… He created an economy that turned us around as a country and made us very patriotic. I’m very patriotic as an American citizen… I believe in what this country stands for and my father engrained that [in me].”
The two then discussed how the GOP could attract Latino and Hispanic voters in the future. Raul said he believes Republicans should focus their efforts on the younger generations because they are more likely to assimilate into American culture, unlike their parents who often want to maintain their previous nationalist identity.
“Many of [the parents] want to go back but the kids don’t want to go back because they’re used to this kind of [American] life,” he said.
At their core, Raul believes that Hispanics have a conservative philosophy.
“A lot of people from these countries have that religious trait in them,” he said. “They believe in family, they believe in faith.”
However, he thinks Hispanics tend to vote Democrat because the media portrays Republicans as being against them and because Democrats have offered them financial aid from the government.
“I’ve seen the indoctrination that goes on these big cities and those cities indoctrinate them by helping them and providing financial aid.”
“I was never indoctrinated in that system,” he concluded.
Hear the full discussion between Raul and Yellowhammer Radio host Cliff Sims in the video above.
Yellowhammer Radio airs Monday through Friday on Super Station 101 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.