immigrants

FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, DC
FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, DC, U.S., August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Ann Saphir and Howard Schneider

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing fresh demands by President Donald Trump to cut interest rates, is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at a policy meeting this week but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year.

New economic projections that will accompany the U.S. central bank’s policy statement on Wednesday will provide the most direct insight yet into how deeply policymakers have been influenced by the U.S.-China trade war, Trump’s insistence on lower interest rates, and recent weaker economic data.

Analysts expect the “dot plot” of year-end forecasts for the Fed’s benchmark overnight lending rate – the federal funds rate – will show a growing number of policymakers are open to cutting rates in the coming months, though nowhere near as aggressively as investors expect or Trump wants.

The Fed is also widely, though not universally, expected to remove a pledge to be “patient” in taking future action on rates, opening the door to a possible cut at its coming policy meetings.

Risks may be rising, but “I don’t think they want to box themselves into a corner,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust. “The markets are set up for a cut in July, and if they don’t get it, financial conditions will tighten.”

The federal funds rate is currently set in a range of 2.25% to 2.50%.

The Fed’s policy-setting committee is due to release its latest statement and economic projections at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday after the end of a two-day meeting. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference shortly after.

MIND THE DOTS

The Fed’s last set of economic and policy projections, released in March, showed most policymakers foresaw no need to change rates this year and only very gradual rate hikes thereafter. (For a graphic of the gap between market and Fed expectations, please see https://tmsnrt.rs/2WzJ6tu.)

But since that meeting the economic outlook has become cloudier.

Recent U.S. retail sales numbers were strong. But while unemployment has held near a 50-year low of 3.6%, U.S. employers created a paltry 75,000 jobs in May. Inflation, which Powell says is low in part because of temporary factors, continues to undershoot the Fed’s 2% target.

The Atlanta Fed forecast on Friday that gross domestic product will increase at a 2.1 percent annualized rate in the April-June quarter, a drop from the 3.1 percent pace of the first three months of the year.

Trade uncertainty has increased as well, with Trump using the threat of tariffs on goods from Mexico to force the country to curb the number of mostly Central American immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

He has also vowed to slap more tariffs on Chinese imports if no trade deal is reached when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit at the end of this month in Japan.

Concern that mounting tariffs could further slow U.S. and global economic growth is one of the chief reasons traders in interest rate futures loaded up on contracts anticipating three U.S. rate cuts by the end of the year.

Fed officials may have reason to trim their rate outlook a bit, but meeting market expectations would involve a dramatic shift. Nine of the Fed’s current 17 policymakers would have to move their rate projections downward for the median to reflect a single cut, let alone three.

“Powell will do what he can to try to downplay the dots especially if they don’t show what the markets want them to show,” said Roberto Perli, economist at Cornerstone Macro. “He will have a tough time.”

Adding to the pressure for a rate cut is a yield curve inversion in parts of the market for U.S. government debt, historically a precursor of recessions. The three-month Treasury bill, for instance, has paid out a higher rate than a 5-year Treasury note for the last several months running.

And Trump, who has said that rates should be lowered by perhaps a full percentage point or more, continues to publicly berate the Fed and Powell, his handpicked chairman, for refusing to act.

“I’ve waited long enough,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News last week, talking favorably of the “old days” when Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon intervened forcefully in Fed policy – and set the stage, many economists argue, for the high inflation, economic volatility and recessions that followed in the 1970s.

DOWNWARD SHIFT

Most of the more than 100 economists polled June 7-12 by Reuters say they are not penciling in a rate cut until the third quarter of next year. But views are shifting rapidly. Forty respondents expected at least one rate cut sometime in 2019, up from just eight who did in the previous poll.

Within the U.S. central bank, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is the only policymaker who has said a rate cut may be needed “soon.”

Several others have signaled a readiness to move off their wait-and-see stance, with Powell saying earlier this month in a speech in Chicago that the Fed will act “as appropriate” in the face of risks posed by the global trade war and other developments.

The word “patient,” which had been repeatedly used by the Fed since early this year to signal its willingness to hold off further rate hikes, was notably absent from Powell’s remarks, though the Fed chief stopped well short of suggesting a rate cut was coming soon.

The Fed raised rates four times in 2018 but has since abandoned plans to continue lifting borrowing costs this year.

It is likely to avoid signaling any move to cut rates until it is ready to deliver, predicted Bruce Monrad, a high-yield bond portfolio manager at Boston-based Northeast Investors Trust.

Nevertheless, Monrad added, Fed policymakers may have tied their own hands by letting bets in financial markets stray so far. “They have had six months to control the rhetoric. They really haven’t walked back the market.”

(Reporting by Ann Saphir and Howard Schneider; Editing by Paul Simao)

Source: OANN

The Trump administration is doing just about everything it can to slow the flood of undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans coming to the U.S. and claiming asylum. But alleviating our growing border crisis is impossible unless Congress changes our immigration laws.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was right when he said Tuesday during a congressional hearing on border security that there is “absolutely no justification whatsoever for Congress to sit on the sidelines and watch as this crisis continues to unfold.” The emergency on the border is “getting worse and worse as Congress sits on its hands and does absolutely nothing” to help.

The border pandemonium is literally fatal. Since December, six migrants have died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Five were children. This isn’t the fault of the Trump administration’s policies that aim to stanch the stream of illegal immigrants. It’s the result of a border patrol collapsing under the weight of hundreds of thousands of migrants making a dangerous and debilitating journey to the U.S. and needing urgent medical care as soon as they arrive.

In fiscal 2018, border agents apprehended nearly 106,000 “family units,” meaning families that made their way illegally onto U.S. soil and, more often than not, claimed asylum. We’re only halfway through this year, and that number has tripled to more than 316,000.

Why is this happening? It is because everyone south of the border knows that to secure indefinite legal protection to stay in the U.S., they need simply to arrive with children, who by law must not be detained for more than 20 days. When the child is released by border patrol, as it inevitably will be, so too is the person who came with them. That’s why the number of apprehensions of supposed families dwarfs apprehensions of single adults.

News media and Trump’s critics blame administration cruelty for the crisis. They’ve started referring to detention centers as “concentration camps” (see P.xx). But the crisis is caused by our nonsensical asylum laws, which are well intentioned but incapable of dealing with the sort of massive run on the border we’re seeing today. Our laws act as a magnet for illegal immigrants, encouraging migrants to make dangerous journeys with children, across Mexico, and enter our country without documentation.

Asylum claims at the border are rising rapidly. The vast majority of migrants who claim asylum, 90%, pass a first screening. They’re ordered to show up at court on a specified date that, because of a backlog of about a million cases, may be five years later. In that time, they’re allowed to work legally within the U.S. Even so, some 40% don’t show up for their court hearings, having disappeared into the country, perhaps forever.

Kevin McAleenan, acting homeland security secretary, is calling for reform, so the asylum process can no longer be abused by migrants who aren’t really fleeing persecution in their own countries but are simply looking for a better way of life in the biggest economy in the world. That’s the lure of the United States. Congress should raise the bar for who can qualify for asylum, McAleenan argues, and make it much easier to remove people quickly if they don’t meet the standard.

Asylum laws are to provide a safe haven to people who arrive at our door with a well-founded fear of persecution. If you’re genuinely fleeing drug gangs out to kill you and your family in Mexico or Canada, you should be let in. If you are persecuted by Iran and can get a flight to America, this country should grant you asylum and keep you safe.

But our crisis is from South American and Central American migrants fleeing El Salvador or Venezuela and merely passing through Mexico. Most arrivals at our southern border are not Mexicans.

The question is, why didn’t they stop in Mexico? And why should they become this country’s responsibility? There are many good reasons to prefer the U.S. to Mexico — more jobs, more freedom, more welfare — but none of these are remotely valid reasons to grant asylum.

These are simple economic migrants, encouraged by massive loopholes in the law and the fecklessness of a Congress unwilling to doing anything about them. Trump has leaned on Mexico to absorb more of them, and that seems to be working. But for a lasting reform, Congress needs to change the law.

More border security, which Democrats say implausibly that they want, and fewer detained migrants: Shouldn’t everyone jump to these reforms?

The problem is that House Democrats have little political incentive to work with Republicans and the White House on any measure that would reduce the flow of illegal immigrants. Democrats are loath to cooperate with the GOP while they, at the same time, hope to drag Trump down to defeat in the 2020 election. It is certainly true that most Democrats are at best muddled on the immigration question and at worst fully in favor of opening the southern border to anyone who wants to come into the country.

But the party of the Left cannot deny that we have a crisis at the southern border. If Democrats are honest, they’ll admit it’s caused by our asylum laws, and they will help fix them.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is cutting ties with some of its own pollsters after leaked internal polling showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in critical 2020 battleground states, according to a person close to the campaign.

The move comes after NBC News obtained new details from a March internal poll that found Trump trailing Biden in 11 key states.

Portions of the campaign’s expansive March polling trickled out in recent days in other news reports.

But a person familiar with the inner workings of the Trump campaign shared more details of the data with NBC News, showing the president trailing across swing states seen as essential to his path to re-election and in Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have looked to gain traction. The polls also show Trump underperforming in reliably red states that haven’t been competitive for decades in presidential elections.

A separate person close to the Trump re-election team told NBC News Saturday that the campaign will be cutting ties with some of its pollsters in response to the information leaks, although the person did not elaborate as to which pollsters would be let go.

June 16, 201901:18

The internal polling paints a picture of an incumbent president with serious ground to gain across the country as his re-election campaign kicks into higher gear.

While the campaign tested other Democratic presidential candidates against Trump, Biden polled the best of the group, according the source.

In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan — three states where Trump edged Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by narrow margins that proved decisive in his victory — Trump trails Biden by double-digits. In three of those states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida — Biden’s leads sit outside the poll’s margin of error.

Trump is also behind the former vice president in Iowa by 7 points, in North Carolina by 8 points, in Virginia by 17 points, in Ohio by 1 point, in Georgia by 6 points, in Minnesota by 14 points, and in Maine by 15 points.

In Texas, where a Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t won since President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Trump leads by just 2 points.

Portions of the internal Trump polling data were first reported by ABC News and The New York Times. The Times reported earlier this month that the internal polling found Trump trailing across a number of key states, while ABC News obtained data showing Trump trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida and holding a small lead in Texas.

The president denied the existence of any negative polling during comments last week in the Oval Office, saying his campaign has “great internal polling” and saying the numbers reported were from “fake polls.”

“We are winning in every single state that we’ve polled. We’re winning in Texas very big. We’re winning in Ohio very big. We’re winning in Florida very big,” he said.

“Those are fake numbers. But do you know when you’re going to see that? You’re going to see that on Election Day.”

His campaign staff downplayed the results as old news in statements to NBC News. The polling was conducted between March 13 and March 28.

Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s campaign pollster, dismissed the data as “incomplete and misleading,” representing a “worst-case scenario in the most unfavorable turnout model possible.”

He added that a “more likely turnout model patterned after 2016” with a defined Democratic candidate shows a “competitive” race with Trump “leading.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s criticism focused on the poll’s age.

“These leaked numbers are ancient, in campaign terms, from months-old polling that began in March before two major events had occurred: the release of the summary of the Mueller report exonerating the President, and the beginning of the Democrat candidates defining themselves with their far-left policy message,” he said.

Parscale also claimed the campaign has seen “huge swings in the President’s favor across the 17 states we have polled, based on the policies espoused by the Democrats.” As an example, he said that a “plan to provide free health care to illegal immigrants results in an 18-point swing toward President Trump.”

The Trump campaign subsequently provided another quote from Parscale that echoed the president’s comments from last week.

“All news about the President’s polling is completely false. The President’s new polling is extraordinary and his numbers have never been better,” the statement said.

CORRECTION (June 16, 2019, 10:23 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the finding of polling data reported by ABC News. The data found that Trump was trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida; it did not find that Biden was trailing Trump.

Spread the love
The illegal alien population has boomed in at least three red states won by President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, new analysis reveals.

Pew Research Center analysis finds that in Louisiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota — three states that went overwhelmingly for Trump over failed Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — the illegal alien population has increased over the last ten years.

Between 2007 and 2017, Louisiana — which went nearly 60 percent for Trump in the 2016 election — has an illegal alien population that has grown by 15,000.

In North Dakota, where Trump won with 63 percent of the vote, the illegal alien population has grown by 5,000 over the last decade. This is a sizeable increase for the state that has one of the smallest resident populations in the country with just 760,000 residents.

For South Dakota, a state that voted 61.5 percent for Trump, the illegal alien population has also grown by 5,000 over the past ten years. This, too, is a significant increase as the state only has a resident population of about 883,000 residents.

The illegal alien population — with an estimated 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living across the U.S. — has grown in the Democrat-controlled states of Massachusetts and Maryland. In Massachusetts, there are 60,000 more illegal aliens than there were ten years ago. In Maryland, the illegal alien population has grown by 45,000 since 2007.

Increases in illegal alien populations across red states have electoral consequences where American voters’ votes are diluted in elections due to counting illegal aliens in congressional apportionment.

Read More

Source: The Washington Pundit

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is enjoying a renaissance after a painful campaign rollout, engineering her turnaround with litany of policy plans, a nonstop campaign schedule, and a populist message. | Paul Sancya/AP Photo

President Donald Trump’s reelection machine is setting its sights on a new target, one it had left for dead just a few months ago: Elizabeth Warren.

With the Massachusetts senator rising in polls and driving a populist message that threatens to cut into the president’s blue-collar base, the Trump campaign is training its firepower on Warren with an eye toward blunting her momentum.

Story Continued Below

Trump aides and their allies at the Republican National Committee, who initially believed their money and manpower were better focused elsewhere, are digging up opposition research, deploying camera-wielding trackers, and preparing to brand Warren as a liberal extremist. The reassessment of Warren, confirmed in conversations with more than a half-dozen Trump advisers, reflects the volatility of the massive Democratic primary and how the reelection campaign is reacting to it.

The Trump team — including the president himself — had been focused almost exclusively on Joe Biden to this point. But Warren’s rise now has them thinking she could pose a serious threat in a general election. Warren’s disciplined style, populist-infused speeches, and perceived ability to win over suburban female voters, Trump advisers concede, has raised concerns.

Campaign pollster John McLaughlin has sounded the alarm internally, stressing that Warren’s attacks on Trump threaten to undercut his support from the working-class voters who propelled him to the presidency.

“Although our own early published polls and internal polls discounted Elizabeth Warren, her recent momentum in May and June in national and early caucus and primary states into a strong second place to a flat Joe Biden is a cause for our campaign’s attention,” McLaughlin wrote in a text message to POLITICO.

“Sen. Warren’s attacks on President Trump’s policies need to be rebutted,” McLaughlin added. “We can’t just allow her to continue to attack the President in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and elsewhere.”

Biden will still receive a significant share of the campaign’s attention. But Trump aides say they’re less certain that he’ll be their eventual opponent.

The reelection campaign first began taking note of Warren’s momentum several weeks ago, when polling showed her gaining substantially on Biden and Sanders. They were startled earlier this month when Tucker Carlson, a host on Trump-friendly Fox News, used the opening monologue of his show to heap praise on the liberal senator.

Warren’s populist economic agenda, Carlson said, “sounds like Donald Trump at his best.”

Other pro-Trump Republican groups are paying closer attention to Warren, too. The GOP oppo research shop America Rising has placed Warren in its top tier of Democratic candidates and will prioritize putting trackers on her campaign events. The RNC, meanwhile, recently sent out a news release drawing attention to a radio interview in which Warren was pressed on her past claims of Native American ancestry.

But Trump aides are planning a barrage that extends well beyond the heritage issue, which has been the focus of Trump’s mockery and broadsides. They’re preparing to dig into her past as a professor and try to pick apart her laundry list of policy proposals.

“There’s no question that Elizabeth Warren is on the move, has momentum and could well end up as our opponent,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump 2020 spokesman. “We have to make sure voters know about her proposals for government takeover of health care, free health care for illegal immigrants, radical environmental restrictions, and increased taxes — all proposals that will devastate this country.”

A Warren spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Warren is enjoying a renaissance after a painful campaign rollout. Trump attacked her mercilessly after she released a DNA test that attempted to put the controversy over her blood lines to rest only to reveal she’s between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American.

During an appearance at his Mar-a-Lago resort in March, the president lamented to donors that he knocked Warren out of the race too early and that he should have saved his jabs for later. During a late April rally in Wisconsin, the president said Warren was “finished.”

In the weeks that followed, though, the anti-Wall Street crusader engineered a turnaround with a litany of policy plans, a nonstop campaign schedule and a hard-charging populist message.

In the most recent national poll, from Quinnipiac University, Warren was at 15 percent, only slightly behind Sanders for second place. And in polls released this week of California and Nevada — two key states that vote in late February and early March, respectively — Warren leapfrogged Sanders, running behind only Biden.

The latest view inside the Trump campaign is that Warren has a more coherent message and a more passionate liberal following than Biden, whose support they see as soft. “Her politics are where the Democratic party has moved,” said Trump campaign adviser Raj Shah. “She’s primed to pick up more support as Bernie fades and Biden erodes.”

Biden and his supporters, however, are confident the Democratic electorate is more centrist than prognosticators think.

Not everyone agrees that going after Warren is the right move. Some Trump aides contend that her liberal positions would make her an easier general election opponent and that they should hold off on attacking her. Others, however, argue that guessing a particular candidate’s level of electability is impossible and that the Democratic nominee — no matter who it is — needs to be defined well before next year’s convention.

Trump himself appears to recognize Warren’s newfound strength.

“Now I see that Pocahontas is doing better,” the president said during a Friday morning appearance on Fox News, using his favorite nickname for the Massachusetts senator. “I would love to run against her frankly.”

FILE PHOTO: Abortion rights activists rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Abortion rights activists during a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo – RC186F726170

June 14, 2019

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that the U.S. government cannot deny access to abortions for unaccompanied immigrant minors in federal custody, delivering a blow to a Trump administration policy.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court decision that found the government cannot unduly burden the ability of a woman to obtain an abortion under established Supreme Court precedent.

The case involves the intersection of two divisive social issues on which Republican President Donald Trump has taken a hard line: abortion and immigration.

It began with a 17-year-old girl, whose name and nationality were not disclosed and was called “Jane Doe” in legal papers. She came to the United States alone in 2017 and was placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and houses immigrant children.

The girl, who was in the United States illegally, obtained an abortion after suing the administration in federal court. But the Supreme Court last year allowed the litigation to continue in lower courts to determine the fate of other detained immigrants in similar situations.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement in March 2017 announced that shelters were “prohibited from taking any action that facilitates an abortion without direction and approval from the Director.” Scott Lloyd, who had become the agency’s director that month, then denied every abortion request presented to him during his tenure even when the pregnancy resulted from rape, according to the appeals court ruling. Lloyd left his post at the end of 2018.

“The policy functions as an across-the-board ban on access to abortion,” the appeals court ruling said.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment.

In the 2018 fiscal year, there were almost 50,000 unaccompanied minors referred to the refugee office’s network of some 100 shelters around the United States.

Minors from countries other than Mexico or Canada who cross the border alone stay in federal care until they can be released to sponsors in the United States or until they turn 18 and are transferred to immigration detention. In fiscal year 2017, the only year for which data is available, 18 pregnant unaccompanied minors in the refugee office’s custody requested abortions, according to the court ruling.

The Trump administration could appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court but Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative Trump appointee who participated in the case when he served on the D.C. Circuit, would likely be recused. That would leave the court split 4-4 along ideological grounds.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

Spread the love

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed 5,200 adult immigrants in quarantine after being exposed to mumps or chicken pox, the agency says.ICE has recorded cases of either mumps or chicken pox in 39 immigrant detention centers nationwide, and ICE official tells CNN.Of the 5,200 detainees in quarantine across those centers, around 4,200 are for exposure to mumps. Around 800 were exposed to chicken pox and 100 have been exposed to both.

Just because individuals are quarantined doesn’t mean they have the mumps, but they’ve at least been exposed to it. From September 2018 to June 13, 297 people in ICE custody had confirmed cases of mumps, proven by blood test.There are around 52,000 single adults in ICE custody overall.The agency has previously dealt with contagious diseases, like the measles, the flu and chicken pox, but last September was the first time the agency recorded mumps cases. It’s not clear where the disease derived from or how it spread. Seventy-five percent of the immigrants coming into ICE custody come from the border, though immigrants might also interact with inmates at jails, some of which also hold immigrants.

“I think there is heightened interest in this situation because it’s the mumps, which is a new occurrence in custody, but preventing the spread of communicable disease in ICE custody is something we have demonstrated success doing,” said Nathalie Asher, ICE executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations.”From an operational perspective, the impact is significant in the short and long term and will result in an increase in cohorted detainees’ length of stay in detention, an inability to effect removal of eligible cohorted detainees, and postponing scheduled consular interviews for quarantined detainees,” she added.

Read More

Source: The Washington Pundit

Sometimes, the shortest of lives inspire millions. And so it is with the oak tree that French President Emmanuel Macron ceremonially planted with President Trump on the South Lawn of the White House. It was intended as a symbol of the enduring Franco-American alliance. But on June 11, Macron confirmed it had died. It has gone on to the great oak forest in the sky.

The anonymous sapling — a tree has no name, you might say — was born in France before, Lafayette-like, setting out for the land of the free. Appallingly, however, like so many immigrants in Trump’s America, the tree had to undergo extreme vetting, in this case the quarantine mandated for foreign plants, which Macron said contributed to the tree’s demise. The soil giveth, the bureaucracy taketh away.

Experts told the New York Times that soil differences between Europe and America were probably another factor in the tragedy of the wilted foreigner, raising the ugly specter of arboreal nativism with implied doubts about how arrivals from overseas can properly assimilate, or “take root” in “American soil.”

“In the words of the Psalmist, may this relationship grow ‘like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, and produces its fruit in season whose leaf also does not wither,’” declared Vice President Mike Pence after the planting. The tree, it turned out, was more like the cursed fig tree from the Gospels, or perhaps the seed planted on rocky soil.

“It’s not a tragedy,” Macron callously declared upon confirming the tree’s demise, adding: “One shouldn’t see symbols where there are none.”

Quite right. Those who see in the tree’s extinction a symbol of the end of the once-ballyhooed “ bromance” between Macron and Trump should ask themselves whether the relationship really relies on chlorophyll to transform sunlight into nutrients. Clearly, it does not. (This should not be taken to imply that human beings who identify as oak trees are not trees.)

Unlike an oak tree, Macron is not fueled by photosynthesis, but rather by his preternatural talent for appealing to older people. His meteoric career is a list of the men several decades his senior to whom he became protégé. Along with education and income, age is the strongest correlate to electoral support for Macron. It seems, however, that this superpower does not work on foreign heads of state, much like a certain French tree’s inability to survive in alien soil. Whether it is Theresa May on Brexit, Angela Merkel on European policy, or Trump on trade and security, foreign leaders have thus far proven mysteriously resistant to forsaking their countries’ national interests in exchange for Macron being friendly to them, and so few of Macron’s diplomatic endeavors have borne fruit.

Many French people are familiar from their schooldays with 17th century poet Jean de La Fontaine’s renditions of Aesop’s classic fables, which makes it imaginable that Macron wanted his diplomacy to be like “The Fox and the Crow.” His foxy sweet-talking would get other leaders to give up the cheese. But in this period of mourning, it would be bad taste to compare it instead to “The Oak and the Reed,” to oblivious bravado leading to a beautiful tree’s untimely death.

Meanwhile, contrary to predictions that Trump would be easily bamboozled by his counterparts, he has proved focused on American national interests, whether it has been sanctioning Russia, confronting Iran, or hammering China on trade. The exception seems to be Kim Jong Un, whose family is known, among other things, for its sponsorship of flowers and not trees. Could this be mere coincidence? Or is there a reason experts don’t like to talk about plant geopolitics?

Macron has already announced he will send Trump a new tree. But nothing can ever replace a unique plant that, though never taking root properly in the White House South Lawn, surely took root already in all our hearts.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a writer based in Paris.

SANTA ANA, Calif. — As Election Day approached in 2016, Eddie Lopez was undecided about how he would vote. He loved Hillary Clinton and was excited about the chance to vote for America’s first female president.

But Lopez had been drawn to the Republican Party since the days of Ronald Reagan, his favorite president. He’d grown weary of the Democratic Party under President Barack Obama, who failed to deliver on his promise to reform the broken immigration system.

But when Election Day arrived, Lopez couldn’t bring himself to vote for Donald Trump. “He just offends us too deep,” Lopez told me in January 2018, about how he and many of his fellow Latinos felt toward Trump.

Lopez, who emigrated from Mexico to the United States 30 years ago, is a builder and contractor who owns and manages several businesses in and around Orange County, Calif.

He was exasperated by Trump’s pledge to build a wall on America’s southern border. But what offended him most was Trump’s denigration of immigrants, particularly his campaign-launching claim that most Mexicans crossing illegally into America were “rapists” and drug dealers.

“I thought, ‘My son is 13 years old. I have to do a lot of explaining to him,’” Lopez said. “We are not all rapists and drug dealers. I have to explain to my young son not to be ashamed of who we are.”

Lopez and his son cried during that conversation and again on election night. “It was an emotional night,” he recalled. Still, Lopez held out hope that Trump would take a page from Reagan by enacting an immigration amnesty. “It’s too soon to hate him,” Lopez said he counseled his fellow Latinos as Trump took office.

Lopez highlights the dilemma facing Republicans in Orange County and other parts of America’s rapidly diversifying suburbs. Should the party double down on Trumpism at the risk of alienating minority voters, or should it try to distance itself from Trump while emphasizing conservative values and policies that many of those voters support?

To appreciate the political changes in Orange County over the last two election cycles, one must understand the demographic shift of the past two generations.

To do so, I drove to Little Saigon in Westminster and adjacent Garden Grove, where nearly half of residents are Asian American. Strolling through the Asian Garden Mall one weekday evening, I was the only non-Asian face I saw, aside from a black security officer.

Then I drove a few miles east to Santa Ana, the county seat, where more than 90% of residents are nonwhite and the street signs are written in both English and Spanish. To walk down Calle Cuatro, or Fourth Street, is to be transported to another part of the world. The street is lined with Latino jewelers, tax preparers, stands selling churritos, and more than a dozen bridal and quinceañera shops.

Few of the people with whom I tried to strike up conversations spoke English. A storefront display featured a box set of “Inglés sin Barreras,” or “English without Barriers,” videos to help Spanish-speakers learn English. I asked the store owner if the videos were selling well. He said they were not, which wasn’t surprising. Learning English is not necessary in a place where the law requires that city council meetings be simultaneously translated into Spanish. Even the police officer who was writing me a parking ticket as I returned to my car initially addressed me in Spanish.

Later, driving down coastal Interstate 5 from Irvine to San Clemente, I counted at least 16 AM stations on my car radio dial that featured non-English programming.

Today’s Orange County is not the Orange County of Richard Nixon, a bastion of the John Birch Society. It is not the lily-white Orange County that twice gave Reagan 70% of its votes for president. And it’s not the bleach-blond Orange County of television shows such as “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “The O.C.,” and “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.”

Its population has more than doubled in the last 50 years, from 1.4 million people to nearly 3.2 million people, making it more populous than 21 states. In 1970, whites made up 86% of the county’s population; now they make up just 40%, meaning that over 90% of population growth in the last half-century has been nonwhite. That trend will continue. Nonwhites make up three in four Orange County public school students.

Orange County is also younger and more highly educated than it once was. Much of its middle class has been driven away by California’s high cost of living.

There are still plenty of conservative corners of this 34-city county, in moneyed places such as Newport Beach and San Clemente, or in Yorba Linda, Nixon’s birthplace, where American flags are abundant and nary a “Hate Has No Home Here” yard sign can be found.

Republicans continue to win at the local level. In March, the older, whiter voters who turn out in special elections propelled Irvine Mayor Don Wagner to victory for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The Orange County comeback starts now,” Fred Whitaker, the Republican Party’s county chairman, optimistically declared afterward.

But the trend is clear. As Orange County has become more diverse, Republican dominance has evaporated, and Trump has accelerated the trend.

In 2016, he became the first Republican presidential nominee in 80 years to lose Orange County. Last November, Democrats swept all seven U.S. House seats in Orange County, including four that had been held by Republicans. California Gov. Gavin Newsom became the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 40 years to win the county.

Orange County Democrats used to kid that they could hold local club meetings in a telephone booth. These days, new clubs are popping up everywhere. The mood was self-congratulatory one evening at an Aliso Niguel Democratic Club meeting, which was held not in a phone booth but inside something nearly as obsolete, a Presbyterian church.

After the offering plates had been deployed to collect club dues and some business conducted, I spoke with Ada Briceño, chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party. “I’m sitting in churches with hundreds of people in them every night,” she said, explaining that Democratic voter registration in the county grew 40% since 2016, bringing them nearly on par with Republican voter registration numbers.

In a recent op-ed for the Orange County Register, Briceño wrote the Democrats’ 2018 success was “just the beginning.” She told me she was confident Democrats could protect the party’s seven congressional seats and that their new focus was on winning down-ballot elections in 2020. “I’m in heaven to see tons of people steering together in the same direction,” she said.

Yet some Democratic voters I spoke with worry their leaders are steering the party in a direction that will cost them seats in 2020. “I’m very concerned that ill-informed people will be easily influenced by articulate people like AOC and Bernie,” said Bob Bruce, a retired engineer I met at a Laguna Beach Starbucks. “For me, there’s progressive, and there’s socialist. I’m not a socialist.”

Bruce is particularly concerned about freshman Rep. Katie Porter, an Elizabeth Warren acolyte for whom he has volunteered. He worries she may be too liberal for her district, California’s 45th, which before Porter had never been represented by a Democrat.

Orange County Republicans mostly blame their recent troubles on an unprecedented infusion of money into the 2018 races and the Democrats’ use of ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting allows activists to collect sealed absentee or mail-in ballots on behalf of voters who failed to send them in time. Most states where ballot harvesting is legal allow only family members or caregivers to harvest ballots. But California changed its rules ahead of the 2018 election to allow anyone to collect and submit the ballots. Huge numbers of last-minute ballot submissions delayed election results in several Orange County congressional races. All of them showed the Republican candidate ahead on election night, but every Democrat went on to win once the ballots were counted.

Mission Viejo’s Republican Mayor Greg Raths doesn’t believe ballot harvesting was much of a factor. “It’s bullshit,” he told me one evening at a Young Republicans mixer at a Del Frisco’s restaurant in Irvine. “We lost. Suck it up. I don’t like harvesting, but suck it up.”

“We got a problem here in Orange County,” Raths, who has since declared his candidacy for Porter’s seat, said. “Instead of bitching and crying [about ballot harvesting], go do it yourself. It’s legal.”

Some California Republicans believe the party hasn’t done enough to reach out to immigrants and minorities. “The local party has dropped the ball with immigrant communities,” Tom Tait, a former two-term Republican mayor of Anaheim, told a reporter after the 2018 elections.

Others pin the blame on Trump specifically. Young Kim, a South Korean immigrant and the first Korean American Republican woman to become a state legislator in California, said she would have won her race for California’s 39th Congressional District if Trump had not engaged in “so much anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

The waves of Asian immigrants who settled in California in the 1970s and ’80s identified strongly with the Republican Party, in part because of the party’s firm stance against communism. George H.W. Bush won an estimated 55% of Asian American voters in the 1992 presidential election. But while some Asian Americans have been turned off by the Democratic Party’s support for socialistic policies that remind them of those of regimes they fled, for the most part they have slowly moved toward the Democratic Party. Depending on the survey, Trump won between 18% and 27% of Asian American votes in 2016.

“What we are seeing today is a generational divide,” said Linda Trinh Vo, who teaches Asian American studies at the University of California, Irvine. “The younger generation is more supportive of the Democratic Party.” There are more than 200,000 Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, and many have been angered by the Trump administration’s order to deport 7,000 Vietnamese refugees who committed crimes after arriving in the U.S.

In a possible sign that some California Republicans want to chart a path away from Trump, delegates to the state convention in February elected Jessica Patterson to lead their party. The 38-year-old Latina was chosen over Travis Allen, a loud defender of Trump.

Not everyone was pleased. Raths said he received blowback when he posted a congratulatory message to Patterson on his Facebook page. “Man, I got blasted,” he said. “‘She’s part of the establishment! She’s not the right person!’ A lot of the grassroots were Travis Allen fans.”

The problem for Orange County Republicans is that Trump’s hardline immigration stance and combative rhetoric don’t just hurt him with immigrants and ethnic minorities. They also alienate white voters who care about them.

Bruce, the retired engineer, for instance, is a former Republican who voted for both Reagan and H.W. Bush for president. But he said his political views transformed after he moved to Orange County and began to appreciate the diversity he didn’t encounter growing up in segregated Chicago. “On my block, there’s an Indian family, an Asian, a guy from the South, a couple of Jewish families. If you’d said 25 years ago that I was going to live here, I’d say you were crazy. And I love it. I love it. It’s changed my own views, my politics. I’ve changed my outlook.”

I heard similar things from other Orange County residents. At a Laguna Niguel coffee shop, Lacey, a 35-year-old nurse, told me it was Orange County’s mix of cultures that brought her back after living in Colorado for several years. Lacey voted for Trump in 2016 mainly because she couldn’t stand the thought of Clinton becoming America’s first female president. But she thinks that by framing immigration as a moral issue instead of an economic one, Trump has revealed himself to be “a racist bigot.”

Lacey said she will not be supporting Trump again in 2020.

Republicans understand they must reach out to these voters. But they don’t seem to know how.

On a spring morning in Fullerton, a group of 50 or so mostly retired, white, Republican women filled the back of a buffet restaurant to listen to two millennial, Latina guest speakers point the way. “I’ve been waiting all month for this,” a woman said as she hustled past me looking for a chair in the packed room.

First up was Jazmina Saavedra. A handout with her biography touted her work history as a purveyor of anti-aging products, a solar energy entrepreneur, and a 2018 U.S. Senate candidate. “Every time I get invited to a Republican club, I just see white people,” Saavedra began. “I’m sorry.”

That comment was met with silence in the room, but Saavedra recovered with lines such as, “I never call this country my second country. This is my first country”; “Hispanics are Republicans, they just don’t know it yet”; and “The wall is a message of love to the American people.”

At this last line, I turned to an 85-year-old woman sitting next to me named Claudia and asked for her thoughts on why the county had turned blue. “The Latinos,” she said.

“Can they be won over?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Is it worth trying?”

“I hope it is. I guess we’ll see.”

Next up was Elsa Adeguer of Latinos 4 Trump — not to be confused with Latinos for Trump — who delivered a testimonial about fleeing violence in Latin America to come to the U.S. She explained that she was drawn to Trump because, like her, he’d once supported abortion but is now against it.

Both women elicited the most applause when they assured their audience they had done things “the right way” by entering the U.S. legally.

A few days later, I drove to the City National Grove of Anaheim, where the Orange County Republicans had set up a registration tent outside an arena hosting a series of naturalization ceremonies, trying to attract more who had done things the right way.

“Come with patriotism and enthusiasm as we welcome and register our new members at our Republican Booth,” an online invitation said.

But the welcoming was done from afar, as the half-dozen or so Republican volunteers had been penned off in a “free speech zone” on the opposite side of the arena from where the new citizens were in line. One of the activists said she’s often there all day and is lucky to register 10 people. During my hour there, just one person registered.

With the dearth of registrants, the activists were more than happy to chat with me, so long as I promised not to print their names. I asked them what Orange County Republicans need to do to win over immigrants.

“We need to convince people we don’t have horns on our head,” one woman said.

“We need to emphasize faith,” said a second. “And no open borders.”

“I would not take 2018 as gospel that everything has changed,” the first added.

I asked them whether Trump makes their job harder.

“No! In fact, he emboldens me!” the second woman said.

“We all love Trump. We’re glad he tweets. But some in the Republican Party think we should be more like Democrats,” said the first. She mentioned Patterson, the new California GOP chairwoman, whose name elicited sighs and head shakes from several of the volunteers.

“We don’t want to be politically correct,” said the second. “We have to get people to look at policy instead of personality, facts instead of feelings.”

But personality and feelings matter. It was Trump’s no-holds-barred personality that attracted many Americans who felt forgotten by politically correct, establishment politicians. But that same personality drove away the likes of Lopez, Bruce, and eventually Lacey, the types of voters Republicans will need to win consistently again in Orange County and places like it.

When I visited Lopez again in March, I asked him to assess Trump’s performance thus far. He gave Trump a 5 out of 10, mainly for presiding over a strong economy and enacting tax and healthcare reforms that have benefited Lopez’s businesses and employees.

He reiterated that he supports more of Trump’s agenda than he opposes and that he hopes Trump will set aside his obsession with building a border wall and grant illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship. “He’s the only guy who can do it at this point,” he said. “And he’s crazy enough that it just might happen.”

If it does, Lopez thinks Republicans will begin to win majorities of Latinos, whose religiosity, social conservatism, and support for free enterprise are a natural fit for the party. Short of that unlikely scenario, Lopez said he will be voting for the Democratic nominee next November.

I asked him whether he still counsels his fellow Latinos that it’s too soon to hate Trump.

“Yes, the only thing that gives us reason to hate him is what he said about my race,” he answered. Then Lopez paused and added, “To really hate him, that would make me part of the extremism that he created.”

Daniel Allott is the author of Into Trump’s America and formerly the deputy commentary editor for the Washington Examiner.

SANTA ANA, Calif. — As Election Day approached in 2016, Eddie Lopez was undecided about how he would vote. He loved Hillary Clinton and was excited about the chance to vote for America’s first female president.

But Lopez had been drawn to the Republican Party since the days of Ronald Reagan, his favorite president. He’d grown weary of the Democratic Party under President Barack Obama, who failed to deliver on his promise to reform the broken immigration system.

But when Election Day arrived, Lopez couldn’t bring himself to vote for Donald Trump. “He just offends us too deep,” Lopez told me in January 2018, about how he and many of his fellow Latinos felt toward Trump.

Lopez, who emigrated from Mexico to the United States 30 years ago, is a builder and contractor who owns and manages several businesses in and around Orange County, Calif.

He was exasperated by Trump’s pledge to build a wall on America’s southern border. But what offended him most was Trump’s denigration of immigrants, particularly his campaign-launching claim that most Mexicans crossing illegally into America were “rapists” and drug dealers.

“I thought, ‘My son is 13 years old. I have to do a lot of explaining to him,’” Lopez said. “We are not all rapists and drug dealers. I have to explain to my young son not to be ashamed of who we are.”

Lopez and his son cried during that conversation and again on election night. “It was an emotional night,” he recalled. Still, Lopez held out hope that Trump would take a page from Reagan by enacting an immigration amnesty. “It’s too soon to hate him,” Lopez said he counseled his fellow Latinos as Trump took office.

Lopez highlights the dilemma facing Republicans in Orange County and other parts of America’s rapidly diversifying suburbs. Should the party double down on Trumpism at the risk of alienating minority voters, or should it try to distance itself from Trump while emphasizing conservative values and policies that many of those voters support?

To appreciate the political changes in Orange County over the last two election cycles, one must understand the demographic shift of the past two generations.

To do so, I drove to Little Saigon in Westminster and adjacent Garden Grove, where nearly half of residents are Asian American. Strolling through the Asian Garden Mall one weekday evening, I was the only non-Asian face I saw, aside from a black security officer.

Then I drove a few miles east to Santa Ana, the county seat, where more than 90% of residents are nonwhite and the street signs are written in both English and Spanish. To walk down Calle Cuatro, or Fourth Street, is to be transported to another part of the world. The street is lined with Latino jewelers, tax preparers, stands selling churritos, and more than a dozen bridal and quinceañera shops.

Few of the people with whom I tried to strike up conversations spoke English. A storefront display featured a box set of “Inglés sin Barreras,” or “English without Barriers,” videos to help Spanish-speakers learn English. I asked the store owner if the videos were selling well. He said they were not, which wasn’t surprising. Learning English is not necessary in a place where the law requires that city council meetings be simultaneously translated into Spanish. Even the police officer who was writing me a parking ticket as I returned to my car initially addressed me in Spanish.

Later, driving down coastal Interstate 5 from Irvine to San Clemente, I counted at least 16 AM stations on my car radio dial that featured non-English programming.

Today’s Orange County is not the Orange County of Richard Nixon, a bastion of the John Birch Society. It is not the lily-white Orange County that twice gave Reagan 70% of its votes for president. And it’s not the bleach-blond Orange County of television shows such as “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “The O.C.,” and “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.”

Its population has more than doubled in the last 50 years, from 1.4 million people to nearly 3.2 million people, making it more populous than 21 states. In 1970, whites made up 86% of the county’s population; now they make up just 40%, meaning that over 90% of population growth in the last half-century has been nonwhite. That trend will continue. Nonwhites make up three in four Orange County public school students.

Orange County is also younger and more highly educated than it once was. Much of its middle class has been driven away by California’s high cost of living.

There are still plenty of conservative corners of this 34-city county, in moneyed places such as Newport Beach and San Clemente, or in Yorba Linda, Nixon’s birthplace, where American flags are abundant and nary a “Hate Has No Home Here” yard sign can be found.

Republicans continue to win at the local level. In March, the older, whiter voters who turn out in special elections propelled Irvine Mayor Don Wagner to victory for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The Orange County comeback starts now,” Fred Whitaker, the Republican Party’s county chairman, optimistically declared afterward.

But the trend is clear. As Orange County has become more diverse, Republican dominance has evaporated, and Trump has accelerated the trend.

In 2016, he became the first Republican presidential nominee in 80 years to lose Orange County. Last November, Democrats swept all seven U.S. House seats in Orange County, including four that had been held by Republicans. California Gov. Gavin Newsom became the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 40 years to win the county.

Orange County Democrats used to kid that they could hold local club meetings in a telephone booth. These days, new clubs are popping up everywhere. The mood was self-congratulatory one evening at an Aliso Niguel Democratic Club meeting, which was held not in a phone booth but inside something nearly as obsolete, a Presbyterian church.

After the offering plates had been deployed to collect club dues and some business conducted, I spoke with Ada Briceño, chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party. “I’m sitting in churches with hundreds of people in them every night,” she said, explaining that Democratic voter registration in the county grew 40% since 2016, bringing them nearly on par with Republican voter registration numbers.

In a recent op-ed for the Orange County Register, Briceño wrote the Democrats’ 2018 success was “just the beginning.” She told me she was confident Democrats could protect the party’s seven congressional seats and that their new focus was on winning down-ballot elections in 2020. “I’m in heaven to see tons of people steering together in the same direction,” she said.

Yet some Democratic voters I spoke with worry their leaders are steering the party in a direction that will cost them seats in 2020. “I’m very concerned that ill-informed people will be easily influenced by articulate people like AOC and Bernie,” said Bob Bruce, a retired engineer I met at a Laguna Beach Starbucks. “For me, there’s progressive, and there’s socialist. I’m not a socialist.”

Bruce is particularly concerned about freshman Rep. Katie Porter, an Elizabeth Warren acolyte for whom he has volunteered. He worries she may be too liberal for her district, California’s 45th, which before Porter had never been represented by a Democrat.

Orange County Republicans mostly blame their recent troubles on an unprecedented infusion of money into the 2018 races and the Democrats’ use of ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting allows activists to collect sealed absentee or mail-in ballots on behalf of voters who failed to send them in time. Most states where ballot harvesting is legal allow only family members or caregivers to harvest ballots. But California changed its rules ahead of the 2018 election to allow anyone to collect and submit the ballots. Huge numbers of last-minute ballot submissions delayed election results in several Orange County congressional races. All of them showed the Republican candidate ahead on election night, but every Democrat went on to win once the ballots were counted.

Mission Viejo’s Republican Mayor Greg Raths doesn’t believe ballot harvesting was much of a factor. “It’s bullshit,” he told me one evening at a Young Republicans mixer at a Del Frisco’s restaurant in Irvine. “We lost. Suck it up. I don’t like harvesting, but suck it up.”

“We got a problem here in Orange County,” Raths, who has since declared his candidacy for Porter’s seat, said. “Instead of bitching and crying [about ballot harvesting], go do it yourself. It’s legal.”

Some California Republicans believe the party hasn’t done enough to reach out to immigrants and minorities. “The local party has dropped the ball with immigrant communities,” Tom Tait, a former two-term Republican mayor of Anaheim, told a reporter after the 2018 elections.

Others pin the blame on Trump specifically. Young Kim, a South Korean immigrant and the first Korean American Republican woman to become a state legislator in California, said she would have won her race for California’s 39th Congressional District if Trump had not engaged in “so much anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

The waves of Asian immigrants who settled in California in the 1970s and ’80s identified strongly with the Republican Party, in part because of the party’s firm stance against communism. George H.W. Bush won an estimated 55% of Asian American voters in the 1992 presidential election. But while some Asian Americans have been turned off by the Democratic Party’s support for socialistic policies that remind them of those of regimes they fled, for the most part they have slowly moved toward the Democratic Party. Depending on the survey, Trump won between 18% and 27% of Asian American votes in 2016.

“What we are seeing today is a generational divide,” said Linda Trinh Vo, who teaches Asian American studies at the University of California, Irvine. “The younger generation is more supportive of the Democratic Party.” There are more than 200,000 Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, and many have been angered by the Trump administration’s order to deport 7,000 Vietnamese refugees who committed crimes after arriving in the U.S.

In a possible sign that some California Republicans want to chart a path away from Trump, delegates to the state convention in February elected Jessica Patterson to lead their party. The 38-year-old Latina was chosen over Travis Allen, a loud defender of Trump.

Not everyone was pleased. Raths said he received blowback when he posted a congratulatory message to Patterson on his Facebook page. “Man, I got blasted,” he said. “‘She’s part of the establishment! She’s not the right person!’ A lot of the grassroots were Travis Allen fans.”

The problem for Orange County Republicans is that Trump’s hardline immigration stance and combative rhetoric don’t just hurt him with immigrants and ethnic minorities. They also alienate white voters who care about them.

Bruce, the retired engineer, for instance, is a former Republican who voted for both Reagan and H.W. Bush for president. But he said his political views transformed after he moved to Orange County and began to appreciate the diversity he didn’t encounter growing up in segregated Chicago. “On my block, there’s an Indian family, an Asian, a guy from the South, a couple of Jewish families. If you’d said 25 years ago that I was going to live here, I’d say you were crazy. And I love it. I love it. It’s changed my own views, my politics. I’ve changed my outlook.”

I heard similar things from other Orange County residents. At a Laguna Niguel coffee shop, Lacey, a 35-year-old nurse, told me it was Orange County’s mix of cultures that brought her back after living in Colorado for several years. Lacey voted for Trump in 2016 mainly because she couldn’t stand the thought of Clinton becoming America’s first female president. But she thinks that by framing immigration as a moral issue instead of an economic one, Trump has revealed himself to be “a racist bigot.”

Lacey said she will not be supporting Trump again in 2020.

Republicans understand they must reach out to these voters. But they don’t seem to know how.

On a spring morning in Fullerton, a group of 50 or so mostly retired, white, Republican women filled the back of a buffet restaurant to listen to two millennial, Latina guest speakers point the way. “I’ve been waiting all month for this,” a woman said as she hustled past me looking for a chair in the packed room.

First up was Jazmina Saavedra. A handout with her biography touted her work history as a purveyor of anti-aging products, a solar energy entrepreneur, and a 2018 U.S. Senate candidate. “Every time I get invited to a Republican club, I just see white people,” Saavedra began. “I’m sorry.”

That comment was met with silence in the room, but Saavedra recovered with lines such as, “I never call this country my second country. This is my first country”; “Hispanics are Republicans, they just don’t know it yet”; and “The wall is a message of love to the American people.”

At this last line, I turned to an 85-year-old woman sitting next to me named Claudia and asked for her thoughts on why the county had turned blue. “The Latinos,” she said.

“Can they be won over?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Is it worth trying?”

“I hope it is. I guess we’ll see.”

Next up was Elsa Adeguer of Latinos 4 Trump — not to be confused with Latinos for Trump — who delivered a testimonial about fleeing violence in Latin America to come to the U.S. She explained that she was drawn to Trump because, like her, he’d once supported abortion but is now against it.

Both women elicited the most applause when they assured their audience they had done things “the right way” by entering the U.S. legally.

A few days later, I drove to the City National Grove of Anaheim, where the Orange County Republicans had set up a registration tent outside an arena hosting a series of naturalization ceremonies, trying to attract more who had done things the right way.

“Come with patriotism and enthusiasm as we welcome and register our new members at our Republican Booth,” an online invitation said.

But the welcoming was done from afar, as the half-dozen or so Republican volunteers had been penned off in a “free speech zone” on the opposite side of the arena from where the new citizens were in line. One of the activists said she’s often there all day and is lucky to register 10 people. During my hour there, just one person registered.

With the dearth of registrants, the activists were more than happy to chat with me, so long as I promised not to print their names. I asked them what Orange County Republicans need to do to win over immigrants.

“We need to convince people we don’t have horns on our head,” one woman said.

“We need to emphasize faith,” said a second. “And no open borders.”

“I would not take 2018 as gospel that everything has changed,” the first added.

I asked them whether Trump makes their job harder.

“No! In fact, he emboldens me!” the second woman said.

“We all love Trump. We’re glad he tweets. But some in the Republican Party think we should be more like Democrats,” said the first. She mentioned Patterson, the new California GOP chairwoman, whose name elicited sighs and head shakes from several of the volunteers.

“We don’t want to be politically correct,” said the second. “We have to get people to look at policy instead of personality, facts instead of feelings.”

But personality and feelings matter. It was Trump’s no-holds-barred personality that attracted many Americans who felt forgotten by politically correct, establishment politicians. But that same personality drove away the likes of Lopez, Bruce, and eventually Lacey, the types of voters Republicans will need to win consistently again in Orange County and places like it.

When I visited Lopez again in March, I asked him to assess Trump’s performance thus far. He gave Trump a 5 out of 10, mainly for presiding over a strong economy and enacting tax and healthcare reforms that have benefited Lopez’s businesses and employees.

He reiterated that he supports more of Trump’s agenda than he opposes and that he hopes Trump will set aside his obsession with building a border wall and grant illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship. “He’s the only guy who can do it at this point,” he said. “And he’s crazy enough that it just might happen.”

If it does, Lopez thinks Republicans will begin to win majorities of Latinos, whose religiosity, social conservatism, and support for free enterprise are a natural fit for the party. Short of that unlikely scenario, Lopez said he will be voting for the Democratic nominee next November.

I asked him whether he still counsels his fellow Latinos that it’s too soon to hate Trump.

“Yes, the only thing that gives us reason to hate him is what he said about my race,” he answered. Then Lopez paused and added, “To really hate him, that would make me part of the extremism that he created.”

Daniel Allott is the author of Into Trump’s America and formerly the deputy commentary editor for the Washington Examiner.


[There are no radio stations in the database]