Ever since he became a naturalized citizen, Noel Omega says the Republican Party has had his vote.
“It's the small government, the pro-life, and having the moral position [in line with our faith],” says Omega as he stands outside a fellow Filipino American’s home in Burbank.
Omega came to the United States in the late 1970s. Now he’s part of an energized group of Filipino American supporters of President Donald Trump in Los Angeles County. He says the president’s worldview overlaps with his own, and even though a GOP presidential candidate has not carried LA County since the mid-1980s, he is compelled to organize for his campaign.
“Because I belong to a minority group. I'm also pro-immigration. But I'm pro-legal immigration because me and my family took the legal way to come here.”
This convergence of opinions on abortion, immigration and religion are why many Filipinos living in Los Angeles County — the largest community outside of the Philippines — vote red. That’s according to Marc Ang, the founder of the nonprofit Asian Industry B2B.
Of course, no community is monolithic. As with most other ethnic groups, party preference often correlates with age and immigration status.
Another reason for supporting Trump? His posture toward China.
“Recently, China as a world power has been invading some of the Philippine islands in the South China Sea,” Ang says. “So that is something that we really as Filipinos on a foreign policy level really support his coming down strong against China in that aspect.”
Ang led a rally and car caravan beginning Creekside Park in the city of Walnut last week, one of several pro-Trump events leading up to Election Day.