During the Democratic debate on Wednesday night, Clinton and Sanders sparred over their records on immigration, a divisive topic on the campaign trail and an important one within the Latino electorate. There’s not a lot of light between their current positions, but beyond their stock responses lies a fundamental difference in how the two presidential candidates approach the Latino electorate: Clinton appears to prioritize immigration narratives, whereas Sanders pitches his plan for economic equality.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, jobs and the economy are ranked above immigration among Latino registered voters. Sanders appears to be driving home that point. On Wednesday, he continued to relay his message, noting, “We have a real crisis not only with real unemployment in America being close to 10 percent, but youth unemployment in this country.” (The official unemployment rate for Latinos is 6.5 percent, and for African Americans it’s 9.1 percent.)
Adding to his regular talking points on the economy, Sanders also released a five-minute campaign ad documenting the life of a female farmworker in Florida. The Spanish-language ad illuminates the challenges she faces in trying to provide for her family. “Voy a luchar mientras,” she says in Spanish: “I will always fight.” About three-quarters of the way through, Sanders is shown speaking at a meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, decrying the conditions at the farmworker’s field.