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In Kissimmee, Vice President Pence Campaigns For Latino Vote

Vice President Mike Pence campaigns in Kissimmee, Florida ahead of the 2020 election. Photo: Mike Pence / Twitter

Vice President Mike Pence was in Kissimmee Thursday on a campaign stop called “Latinos for Trump,” courting the critical Latino vote for President Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.

At Spanish-language church Nacion de Fe in Kissimmee, Vice President Pence touted the administration’s commitment to Latinos — providing aid to Puerto Rico, recognizing Juan Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela, and building an economy that supports more jobs and higher income for Latino-Americans.

“They’re doing what they can and it’s always good to see that,” said supporter and 28-year-old Army Veteran Gian Ruiz. “Whatever brings work, brings jobs for Latinos in this country, I’ll always support.”

Pence also touted the administration’s efforts to secure the border. Supporters at the event said they believe in a “fair” immigration system.

“I don’t think it has to be so controversial. We have to protect our borders,” said Ruiz. “That shouldn’t really be a grey issue. For me, I look at the border as a national security issue not so much an immigration issue.”

Osceola County Democrats protested outside the event. Waving Puerto Rican flags, they called on their Latino neighbors to rethink the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

“For them to want to turn a blind eye on them just to be on the good side of the President — shame on them,” said Frank Rivera Martinez. 

Protesters also spoke out about the Trump administration’s delayed response to provide aid to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes.

“They haven’t given them the aid that they need,” said Jemma Marie Hanson. “We have families that have gone through Maria, through a quake, things you can’t even imagine There are people sleeping in the street, the elderly without mattresses. This is unacceptable.

More than half of Osceola County is Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Some analysts say their vote will be critical in the 2020 Presidential election.

President Trump officially launched his reelection bid in Orlando last summer, signalling the importance of Florida’s 29 electoral votes needed to win another four years in the White House.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »