After 22 years of living in this country, Rochelle Salcedo will vote for the first time for President this November. As soon as she became a citizen in 2013, she registered to vote Republican as her family. But, she will NOT vote for her party’s candidate this year… she just can’t vote for Trump.
Yes, you read that right. Rochelle is a registered Republican voter, who also happens to be an immigrant and a union leader. You would think that none of those things can go together, but Rochelle is a perfect example of a proud immigrant and conservative who understands that unions play a key role to protect workers’ rights and promote policies that protect working families like hers.
Rochelle arrived from the Philippines in 1994 and has been working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Florida’s Treasure Coast for 16 years. She never applied for citizenship before because it was expensive and there were always other priorities that came first.
“Right when I became a Union Delegate in 2013 is when I realized how important it was to get involved and participate in politics. It was an eye-opener of how urgent it was to become a citizen to be able to exercise my rights and have a voice,” said Rochelle. “I’m now a citizen and finally I have a voice, nobody can tell me ‘you’re not a citizen, go back to your country’.”
That’s why she does not want to vote for Trump. She knows that Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric also affects her and inspires discrimination and hate towards her family and her community.
“Immigrants are what makes America great,” she added.
Her thoughts go even further. “Electing the President of the United States is a big responsibility because it’s an influential leader not only in this country, but in the entire world. As an Asian-American, I also care about what the new President would do regarding my country of origin and I don’t think Trump will be the best option.”
This November, Rochelle is inclined to vote for Hillary because she feels the candidate is well experienced, especially in foreign policies. But what’s most important is that she will not give up her right to vote because she fought too hard and waited too long to earn it.