The immigrant voter

'Clinton is most qualified, and she defends our children'

Mrs Ana Carpio-Vazquez, 46, business owner, is a former undocumented immigrant and one of the growing block of Hispanic voters that are pro-democrat because of its friendlier immigration policy.
Mrs Carpio-Vazquez, who was born in El Salvador, is alarmed by the rhetoric of Mr Trump, which vilifies immigrants in the US, especially those entering from south of the American border.
Mrs Carpio-Vazquez, who was born in El Salvador, is alarmed by the rhetoric of Mr Trump, which vilifies immigrants in the US, especially those entering from south of the American border.ST PHOTO: MELISSA SIM

CHARLOTTE (North Carolina) • As an undocumented immigrant for three years, Mrs Ana Carpio- Vazquez, 46, said she never took a cent from the government.

"No social security, no Medicare, nothing," said the US citizen who came to the country from El Salvador. She is alarmed by the rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, which vilifies immigrants in the country, especially those entering from south of the US border.

"He talks very bad about my sisters and brothers from Mexico," she said, referring to Mr Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants being rapists.

Hispanics form 17.6 per cent of the population in the United States, according to the Census Bureau's 2015 estimate.

In 2012, 71 per cent of Hispanics voted for President Barack Obama while 27 per cent voted for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In July, Pew Research Centre estimated that Mrs Clinton held 66 per cent of the Hispanic registered voters while Mr Trump held 24 per cent.

 

Mrs Carpio-Vazquez, an insurance agent, came to the US on a tourist visa with her first husband, who had US citizenship. While applying for a spousal petition, which would allow her to live in the US legally, her tourist visa expired, leaving her undocumented.

Instead of taking government handouts, Mrs Carpio-Vazquez said she worked with her former husband to build a courier service business which started with just two drivers and grew to have 12. "We were contributing to the country, we were employers," she said.

In 2001, Mrs Carpio-Vazquez founded a non-profit to support the Hispanic community in North Carolina, assisting them with immigration issues.

To her, Mr Trump's constant attacks on the immigrant community are unconstitutional. In contrast, she views Mrs Hillary Clinton as the most qualified person to lead the country. "I believe in her values for the family... she defends our children and children around the world," said Mrs Carpio-Vazquez.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline ''Clinton is most qualified, and she defends our children''. Print Edition | Subscribe