Via our colleague Pamela Constable:
At the Herndon Community Center, where a mix of Hispanic and Asian immigrants joined the growing stream of voters all morning, several Hispanics said they had chosen Hillary Clinton and were offended by the negative comments Donald Trump had made about Mexicans and illegal immigrants.
“Hillary has a good heart, and the Democrats have a more human feeling than the Republicans for immigrants, whether they have (legal) papers or not,” said Maria Cardona, 57, a day care worker from El Salvador.
Among voters from India, China and the Philippines, including high tech professionals and medical workers, opinion was far more diverse, and more focused on economic issues than on the candidates’ views about foreign-born Americans like themselves.
One group of four Filipina women, all close friends and several related to each other, drove together to cast their ballots but split them among two parties and three candidates; two chose Clinton, one Trump and one Marco Rubio.
“I don’t like all of Trump’s ideas, but he speaks from the heart, plus he makes millions of dollars so he can probably do that for all Americans,” said Marivic Barasona, 56, a hospital nursing assistant.
Her niece, a nurse and mother of two named Karen Gonzaga, 37, laughed and shook her head in disagreement. “I like Trump but I’m not ready for him. He’s too extreme,” she said. She described herself as an “independent with conservative leanings” and said that while she sympathized with the striving of illegal immigrants, they should “follow the legal process like we did.”
After wrestling with indecision, Gonzaga voted for Rubio, in part because she thought he would try to restore political peace in Washington. “Everything is so chaotic now,” she said. “We have to be a democracy and talk to each other.”
The two other women, retired sisters in law, said they were firmly supporting Clinton — in part for the same reason.
“I want things to go back to normal, though I”m not sure what normal is any more,” Natividad Villanueva, 78, a former day care administrator, said with a giggle. “I like her principles, and it would be nice to have a woman president.”
Gonzaga gestured toward the close-knit group and noted, “We all want a strong president but we are diverse. We are what America is about.”