NASHUA, N.H. – Donald Trump is well known for his policies aimed at limiting immigration. But in spite of this, he still has a group of supporters who have migrated to this country who gathered in Nashua last week for an event highlighting the Trump campaign’s diversity.
2018 Republican New Hampshire First Congressional District Candidate and former South Hampton Police Chief Eddie Edwards believes that minority communities in New Hampshire have responded to outreach from Trump while Democrats took their support for granted.
“I think every year you see the support for Republicans from African-Americans and Latinos growing. Every single year,” he said. “And it’s growing because they are awakening, their political maturity is developing. And when they’re seeing how previous policies have destroyed their communities, that’s what they’re responding to.”
The event was organized in part by Valere Mangituka, leader of the New American Republican National Association.
Mangituka, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been a U.S. Citizen since 2014. He says that Democrats seek to gain the votes of new Americans through cultivating a sense of victimhood and fear. Additionally, he says that many of his fellow Congolese ex-patriates in New Hampshire support Trump due to his polices regarding security, a major concern for many in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mangituka supports Trump’s immigration policies, believing they come from a concern for national security and a belief that many have confused Trump’s immigration policies with refugee policies, something he sees as separate.
He also believes that Trump has done the best he can to address the issue of white nationalism.
“Racism and white supremacy are a matter of psychology,” he said. “(Trump) has had a hard time with this, but I think he’s pressured them. I think (white supremacists) get the message that the general public does not support them.”
Claude Bongambe, a write-in candidate for State Representative in Concord and another native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, agreed with Mangituka’s assessment regarding Trump’s approach regarding white nationalism. He also believes Trump has done much for the Congolese community.
“Donald Trump’s style stands for family and culture,” said Bongambe. “We want to give him four more years to continue doing what he’s been doing here and to help him stop genocide (in Africa.)”
Both Bongambe and Mangituka believe that approximately 80 to 90 percent of the Congolese community in New Hampshire support Trump, a figure disputed by former Manchester Board of School Committee member Mary Ngwanda-Georges.
Ngwanda-Georges, who is also a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, agrees that there is a frustration amongst the Congolese diaspora when it comes to American policies in Africa over the past several decades. However, she believes that Trump has not made much positive change regarding those policies and he is doing harm to the Congolese community in America as well.
“People have to ask ‘Trump has been here for four years, what has he done for the Democratic Republic of the Congo?’” said Ngwanda-Georges. “We live in the United States, I am a U.S. citizen. This is my home. When we look here, we also have to ask ‘who best benefits immigrants when it comes to services like Medicaid?’, Trump is closing access to those services and that needs to be addressed.”
Ngwanda-Georges is voting for Biden, but says that will not stop her from pressuring whoever gets elected to do more for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese diaspora.
“We can’t have a leader who gets into power and does nothing,” she said. “We need to continue to ask how our leaders can heal the wounds of the Congolese people.”