Anti-Trump sentiment is making Latinos more eager to vote in 2016, according to a poll released Thursday.
America's Voice and Latino Decisions found that 48 percent of registered-voter Hispanics are more enthusiastic to cast ballots in 2016 than they were in 2012. Of that group, 41 percent attributed their enthusiasm to Donald Trump's presence in the race.
"There’s a feeling that the Latino community is under attack, and we’re seeing that reflected in voting preferences and unfavorables toward the Republican Party. In fact, the GOP is helping to make Latino political identity more cohesive," said Sylvia Manzano, principal of Latino Decisions.
The desire to stop Trump was by far the strongest motivating factor to vote, followed by support of Hillary Clinton, at 16 percent, and support of Bernie Sanders, at 13 percent.
In California alone, there are an estimated 2.2 million legal permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship but have not applied.
"What we can do right now is help people become citizens so that we can build political power while we're waiting," said Ramiro Funez, a spokesman for Unite Here, a union that represents hospitality workers, many of whom are immigrants. "It's kind of one of the only options we have right now."
His union has been holding citizenship workshops around the country, including a recent one in Orange County. In Nevada, a key battleground in presidential elections, Funez said the union was close to its goal of helping 2,000 people apply for citizenship in a two-month period that began March 1.
Organizers say another factor has driven the push for citizenship this election year. His name is Donald Trump.
Speaking at the Long Beach citizenship fair, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti cast naturalization in strictly electoral terms.
"The hate, the Trumpism, those aren't the values of me and my country," said Garcetti, whose office launched its own citizenship effort last year. "We can make sure we have a president who continues to reflect our values," he said. "We can make sure we have a country that is open to the rest of the world."