Watch How One Freedom Caucus Member Sees the GOP’s Latino Voter Problem | Immigration Battle | FRONTLINE | PBS


Within the wake of Speaker John Boehner’s abrupt announcement final month that he’ll be stepping down from Congress, Home Republicans are presently scrambling to determine new Congressional management.

However the social gathering is dealing with longer-term inside debates as nicely.

Amongst them: The way to have interaction with America’s rising variety of Latino voters — a bloc that within the 2012 election sided with President Barack Obama by 71 p.c. His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, received simply 29 p.c of that vote.

Tonight, in Immigration Battle — a particular, two-hour documentary introduced by FRONTLINE and Impartial Lens — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a member of the Home Freedom Caucus that is credited with forcing Boehner to step down, speaks about that dilemma with uncommon candor.

And all of it begins with a chunk of fruit.

In August 2013 — as immigration reform was shifting by Congress — undocumented immigrants took to Capitol Hill to hand-deliver cantaloupes to 221 Republicans. They did so after a member of the social gathering, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, informed an viewers that for each immigrant within the U.S. illegally who turns into a valedictorian, “there’s one other 100 on the market who weigh 130 kilos they usually’ve acquired calves the dimensions of cantaloupes as a result of they’re hauling 75 kilos of marijuana throughout the desert.”

“I need you to consider the message and the best way that message was conveyed,” Mulvaney says about King’s remark on this excerpt from Immigration Battle, addressing a bunch of voters in Goose Creek, South Carolina. “Take into consideration how indignant we had made any person, to try this, with that assertion. Take into consideration whether or not or not that individual is ever, ever going to contemplate voting for [a] Republican candidate ever once more.”

Merely put, he says, the social gathering has to “cease rewarding the outrageous and the silly.”

“Sooner or later, we’re gonna have to determine that in the event you take all the African-American group and write them off, take all the Hispanic group and write them off, take all the Libertarian group and write them off, take all the homosexual group and write them off, what’s left? About 38 p.c of the nation,” he says. “You can’t win with 38 p.c of the nation.”

Then, Mulvaney provides one other warning:

If the following Republican candidate for President will get the identical share of the Hispanic vote that Mitt Romney acquired [in Texas], we are going to lose Texas — not in 2024, not in 2020, however in 2016 … And if we lose Texas, of us, I’ve acquired information for you, we’re by no means going to elect a Republican president once more.

Immigration Battle — from acclaimed unbiased filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini — premieres tonight on PBS. Drawing on uncommon, candid entry to Democrats and Republicans all through 2013 and 2014, the movie reveals the untold story of the push for bipartisan immigration reform after President Obama’s reelection — and exhibits simply how shut Congress actually got here to passing a invoice, earlier than Obama’s government motion redrew the battle traces.

With political dialogue round immigration extra polarized than ever within the runup to the 2016 presidential election, Immigration Battle is a strong piece of context for an ongoing nationwide struggle. Test your native PBS listings for airtimes.


Patrice Taddonio

Patrice Taddonio, Digital Author & Viewers Improvement Strategist, FRONTLINE