Trump's other base: Minorities

As Trump said in January in an Oval Office address after shutting the government down because Congress wouldn’t fund the construction of his wall: “All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.”

That is a pitch to both blacks and Hispanics already in this country. There is a real cleavage between second-, third- and fourth-generation Hispanics and new arrivals.

My brother Marvin used to work as an accountant in the federal prison system. The institutions would regularly house groups separately, to avoid possible conflict. Two of those groups were Mexicans who had been in America for a while and Mexicans who were new arrivals. As my brother put it, a common refrain among the more established group was, “They’ll help you move a refrigerator for $5.”

As he understood it, it was all about the new arrivals causing embarrassment and downward pressure on wages. This friction rings true to me and has existed among other groups of immigrants.