Immigrants at the RNC: Representation Without Authenticity

The Washington Post/Getty Images
The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Huffington Post's Sayu Bhojwani explains why she says the diverse face of the GOP hasn't resonated with voters.

The GOP is trying hard to present a face of diversity in a coalition dominated by white men. The RNC proceedings are chock-a-block with the new American demographic — from Haitian American Mia Love to Indian American Nikki Haley. As the convention proceeds, several Latinos, including Governor Susanna Martinez and Ted Cruz as well as the GOP's superstar Latino — Marco Rubio — will speak. What this line-up shares is not just political affiliation, but also hypocrisy about their own immigrant backgrounds.

Mayor Mia Love's position on immigration harks back to the narrative she has constructed of her parents' own immigration story of libertarian self-reliance and individualism. "When tough times came," she says, "they didn't look to Washington. They looked within." Her views on undocumented immigrants are mainstream Republican: "protect our borders and remove the magnets. Only after we have plugged the hole in the boat can we begin to deal with the water in it."

The face of the GOP may seem more diverse, but at least among this line-up, we see a plethora of hypocrisy, a denial of each individual's own immigrant story and reality, and a lack of acknowledgement of the economic, social, and political benefits that immigrants and diversity bring to our country. The new "face" of the GOP may indicate "inclusivity" of all races, genders, and nationalities but poll numbers continue to show that voters have yet to follow.


Read Sayu Bhojwani's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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