Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., says the Latino and Hispanic communities in her South Florida district — which account for roughly 73% of the area's constituents — are buying into the messaging of the modern Republican Party.
On Wednesday, Salazar told Newsmax that Latinos and Hispanics share the Republicans' beliefs in wanting a country that's full of God-fearing, law-abiding and family-oriented citizens who also want lower taxes, smaller government, and free-market opportunities to support the American dream.
"I'm so happy that now my community understands ... the GOP has the values that are entrenched in our community," Salazar said while speaking to Newsmax host Lyndsay Keith on "Spicer & Co."
"The Hispanics are waking up, and that's why we need to embrace them into our party."
Salazar's response prompted mention of a recent poll that found half of Hispanics living in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden's job performance after 16-plus months in office.
Why such a low approval rating, considering Biden apparently fared well with Latinos and Hispanics om the 2020 election?
"Because we're not dumb. ... We want to know that [in the United States], we can earn a good living, we can find workers for our shops, and experience some freedom," Salazar said.
"We don't want anyone telling our kids how they need to think, or about their sexual orientation or sexual preferences in kindergarten" — a reference to the recent state law passed under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that prohibits teachers from discussing anything graphic or sexual or graphic with students in kindergarten through third grade.
Without mentioning DeSantis by name, Salazar also drew a clear line of distinction between GOP leaders and the group currently occupying the White House.
"The problem is the Biden administration. We know they have no leadership with the border, the economy, and inflation," said Salazar, who took congressional office in 2021.
One of the biggest issues facing Republican leaders this month? It might involve reports of a large number of migrants — more than 15,000 people — headed for the U.S.-Mexico border, in what represents "a very loud signal that the border is open," she said.
The caravan could mean "thousands and thousands of undocumented people that are trying to come in," Salazar said.
It could also lead to "the fentanyl, the child sex traffickers, the arms that are coming from Mexico to the United States, and the drugs — it's unbelievable those images of [drugs pouring into the country]. And we in the Hispanic community, we're embarrassed.
"We don't want to see this footage. No, we want to come [into the U.S.] legally. We also want to know who's coming in, to make sure those people are ones that have good intentions and want to do good things to America."
To aid that cause, Salazar recently introduced "The Dignity Act" in the House chamber, an immigration reform law that pledges to "seal the border and then give dignity to those people who live inside" the U.S., she said.
Salazar faces Frank Polo Sr. in Florida's Aug. 23 GOP primary in the state's 27th Congressional District.
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