President Donald Trump has a new idea to win over Hispanic voters in Florida in time for the 2020 election.
According to a Politico report Monday, Trump is considering shielding Venezuelan immigrants from deportation after Florida leaders assured him that the move would help him win the battleground state in 2020.
Despite how the President has pushed to end the temporary legal status of other migrant groups in the U.S., Trump views the idea as a way to boost his 2020 chances as he works to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro — one of his top foreign policy proposals.
Trump reportedly sees the prospect as a two-for-one deal — not only would the move play well with Florida’s sizable Venezuelan population, but like-minded Cuban Americans as well. Trump is particularly concerned with his declining approval rating in Florida since narrowly winning the state in 2016.
“You can’t win if you’re a Republican without Florida,” a Republican close to Trump told Politico. “And I think the campaign knows it.”
Politico, citing six sources, reported that Trump officials are receptive to the idea and are discussing allowing Venezuelans to live and work legally in the U.S. through one of two existing programs used to protect immigrants who come from nations that are devastated by war or natural disasters.
“There’s obviously a significant Venezuelan population and the President’s strong positions against those dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela resonate tremendously with those populations, so we think we’ll do very well there,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told Politico.
Politico reported that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have spoken directly to Trump about the issue. Scott added that he had spoken to acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli and one of the President’s top advisers on immigration.
However, Rubio and Scott denied that political considerations have entered any discussions regarding the potential Venezuelan protections. But two people familiar with the administration’s discussions told Politico that some officials have tried to persuade Trump by pointing out the political benefits in the possible move.
Read Politico’s report here.