Wooing Latino Voters On The Border In The Year Of Trump

Oct 21, 2016

Arizona's Santa Cruz County on the Mexican border is what Republican operative Sergio Arellano jokingly calls "Democrat heaven." Only 16 percent of voters are registered as Republicans. More than 80 percent of the population is Latino.

Arellano has been trying to lure more of these voters to the GOP, but this campaign season has been tricky.

"What we encounter on the grass-roots is, 'Republicans are racist. Republicans and Trump want to deport everybody, want to build the wall,'" said Arellano.

"I mean no disrespect, but I am American of Mexican descent," I heard her say.

I was having breakfast alone but I was absolutely drawn to the conversation going at the table next to me. Donald Trump's comments about a Latino federal judge have sparked discussion about racism and bias.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

At the core of Washington’s agriculture industry is science – you can’t grow a potato or cherry without knowing about soil chemistry, hydrology and photosynthesis. But the people who get their hands dirty in the business of growing and picking don’t always think of it that way.

In fact, the children of that workforce tend to struggle in math and science. Just one in four children of migrant workers meets state science standards in eighth grade, far below the population as a whole. The gap in math is nearly as wide.