FOX NEWS - Biden’s school loan handout could push even more Hispanic voters to the GOP, conservatives hope
Aug 30, 2022
President Biden’s polarizing decision to cancel between $10,000 to $20,000 in student debt for some Americans could turn out to be the latest flashpoint to push Hispanic voters toward the GOP, some conservatives say.
In recent years, Hispanics and members of Latino communities across America have largely voted Democratic, but it appears a shift in support to the Republican Party is occurring as more begin distancing themselves from President Biden and his party's policies – with the school loan handout being the latest effort to offend many Latino voters. Hispanics aren't a GOP base yet, but hope springs eternal for those on the right as they see the beginnings of a movement.
"The best thing that could have ever happened to the conservative movement to awaken younger Latinos has been the Biden administration, because they themselves have shown Latinos that they don't care about us," Bienvenido founder Abraham Enriquez told Fox News Digital.
Congressional candidate Cassy Garcia, R-Texas, believes the school loan handout is simply the latest reason why Hispanic voters could distance themselves from the Democratic Party.
"I'm still paying on my student loans. I know how hard it is to pay them, but this is wrong, and it's just bad policy for our community. It's also incredibly regressive," Garcia told Fox News Digital.
"Mechanics and teachers and bodega workers, you know, shouldn't be bailing out Harvard Law alums to the tune of $1 trillion over the next ten years," Garcia continued. "We should be reforming the broken student loan system, not pouring more gasoline on that fire."
Garcia believes this is a bipartisan problem and hopes Republicans will take on higher education reform if her party takes back the House in November. In the meantime, Garcia and Enriquez feel the school loan handout is the latest attempt to "buy out support" ahead of the looming midterms.
Enriquez, whose Bienvenido bills itself as the nation’s fastest-growing non-profit uplifting Hispanic communities through classic American values, believes the timing of Biden’s announcement should raise eyebrows.
"It's so close to the midterm elections and… the Democrats are really bleeding for support within the Latino community. It makes you really think that the administration is trying to do this to buy out Latino support, but it really isn't going to help," Enriquez said.
"Not only is it bad policy, it's truly bad politics because Hispanics within the Latino community were the least likely to have student loans. And even those of us who do have student loans, you know, they're not they're not this Harvard, Berkeley, Yale type, you know, degrees, and the price point around them," Enriquez continued. "We truly believe in values, which means hard work, responsibility. Those of us who do have student loans, we understand that we took it upon ourselves and were responsible enough to do that."
Garcia, said she could have gone to higher-ranked universities than University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she earned her degree, but opted for the more affordable option.
"I took out student loans, but I took out just to afford, you know, my education… knowing that I was going to have to pay that back. And I'm still paying that back right now," she said. "So talking to the voters on the ground right now, many of them are outraged right now thinking, ‘You know, I'm still paying my student [loans].’ I met many, many people in District 28 who've already paid off their student loans. What about those people? Those Hispanics that were working very hard to get an education, a quality education. I also talk to voters were not able to get a [university] education… and went to a trade school. What about those people there, too? So, people are upset about that."
As a result, Garcia doesn’t believe the school loan handout will ultimately benefit Democrats, at least in her district, when they head to cast ballots in November.
"People are looking at the failed policies of this administration. and we need true reform. And that's why I can't wait to win this seat come this November, so I can work with my colleagues to reform our student loan program," she said.
Enriquez also noticed that many media outlets and pundits that initially fawned over the handout have since done an about-face. He feels the pivot mirrors the views of many Latinos on the issue, who completely lost faith in Biden’s plan once they looked into the details.
"Latino voters are very sophisticated when it comes to researching policy. So as soon as the media really blasted this idea that Biden was protecting and supporting students, what it really actually did was encourage Latino families from across the country to look into how much this student loan protection program was going to cost each taxpayer. Once we now know that this program is actually going to cost taxpayers on average about $2,000, many Latino families across the country started waking up and saying, ‘Wait, this really actually doesn't help Latino communities,’" Enriquez said.
"That's where you see the media kind of taking a more kind of a more neutral stance, putting a little bit less attention on actual student loan forgiveness programs. But that's what the media does, right? They kind of push this narrative out. They tell Latinos, this is what you should bite on. This is what you should care about, this is what you should be celebrating, without realizing that Latinos, we're sophisticated," he said. "We do our research, we look into what policies are coming out of the White House, and what the media didn't realize or what they didn't expect was that these millions of Latinos were actually going to figure out that this policy negatively affects working-class families, primarily Latino families across the country."
Garcia agrees and feels the media overlooks Biden’s failed policies in order to help Democrats get elected.
"These failed policies, you know, they're ignoring them," she said. "The failed policies are going to be on the ballot come this November, them trying to wipe out, you know, student loans. It's not fair… bailing out Harvard elite law alums is not the right thing to do."
A Quinnipiac University survey released last month indicated Biden's support among Hispanics stands at just 19%, and Enriquez thinks the school loan handout was partially an attempt to revive support for the unpopular president.
"They were truly thinking, how is this going to affect the next round of polling? Without realizing that when you're talking about just the Latino community, the No. 1 thing that Latinos care about is the economy, right? Is having a thriving, healthy economy," Enriquez said. "What Biden did is put our economy in even more danger with this huge government subsidy program, what it's really going to do is awaken Latino voters to realize, OK, even if we are going back on track coming out of the economy, what Biden just did is going to make us even worse."