Donald Trump is making Hispanic Americans register to vote again

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How Hispanic Voters View Important Issues

The Latino vote isn't nearly as powerful as it could be. Among registered voters, Hispanics are much less likely to turn out for elections than whites or African-Americans. What's more, there are millions of Hispanic legal residents who are eligible for citizenship but have neglected to apply for naturalization. Several of the nation's leading Latino community groups have made increasing political engagement among these Americans a top priority for years. But it's possible that none have done more for the cause of Hispanic-American enfranchisement than Donald J. Trump.

The New York Times reports that naturalization applications increased by 11 percent in 2015, jumping 14 percent in the final six months of the year, after Trump announced his candidacy. Although naturalization rates tend to get a pre-election-year boost, 2015 far outstripped 2011. And the Donald appears to be driving the surge.

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Donald Trump is making Hispanic Americans register to vote again
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responds to supporters during his rally at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Security removes protesters after one of many interruptions during Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's rally at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Protesters interrupt Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during his remarks at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: A protester yells as he is escorted out of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: People listen as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs the arm of a young lady at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A group of young Muslims stage a small protest as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage for a campaign rally during the Kansas GOP caucus at Century II in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Anti-Trump demonstrator Bill Anderson protests outside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses his supporters at rally during the Kansas GOP caucus at Century II in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Anti-Trump supporters demonstrate outside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY- MARCH 5: Evelyn Stalevicz shows her support for Donald Trump as voters lined up to vote in the GOP presidential caucus at Zachary Taylor Elementary school March 5, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. This would be the state of Kentucky's first-ever Republican Presidential Caucus, participating in Presidential Primaries in May alongside other states. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Donald Trump supporters acknowledge their candidate as he takes the stage inside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
A Donald Trump supporter raises his sign inside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Donald Trump supporters and protesters clash outside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Donald Trump supporters cheer for their man inside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Supporters cheer at the Trump For President rally at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: A Donald Trump supporter stands in line to vote during the states Republican caucus on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. People were standing in line for more than two hours to vote in the caucus. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: A man shows his support as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas where the Republican party was staging one of its statewide caucus. Trump spoke of making America great again. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. The Republican party was holding its state wide caucus in several locations. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: An anti-Trump protester stands outside the convention center where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. About 100 protesters voiced their opposition to Trump. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: A veteran showed his support as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas where the Republican party was staging one of its statewide caucus. Trump said he would help veterans. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
A protester chanting "Black Lives Matter" is escorted away as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, background, speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: Supporters displays their signs as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. The Republican party was holding its state wide caucus in several locations. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a child he pulled from the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A protester and activist holds a sign for the "Islam Against Terrorism" before a campaign rally, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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"I want to vote so Donald Trump won't win," Hortensia Villegas, a legal immigrant from Mexico, told the paper. "He doesn't like us."

At a recent GOP debate, Trump said Hispanic Americans are "incredible people." But the mogul's plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, along with his infamous suggestion that Mexicans are disproportionately rapists, has left Latinos seeing him as ... less than incredible. Last month, a Washington Post poll of the Hispanic electorate found 80 percent of such voters had an unfavorable view of Trump. As more legal residents like Hortensia Villegas enter that electorate, those numbers could get even worse for the Republican front-runner.

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