Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

About

Victoria is a political scientist that got the political nerd bug in middle school student council. Today she hangs her hat at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and engages in political wonkiness on MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. more→

Research

Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding the politics, policies and people that shape our fascinating yet frustrating political landscape. Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, political psych, & elections.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Anti-climatic; that’s what former FBI Director James Comey’s public testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee was.

Most of the thrill of surprise was taken out because he released his statement a day before his hearing. And even before then the media had pieced the narrative together. Then, finally there’s the former FBI Director’s silky smooth professional demeanor. There was no question that he did not foresee and manage with confident ease.

At the end of Comey’s much anticipated public testimony there was nothing remotely resembling a Russia-Trump smoking gun. The most sensational part of the hearing was the repeated reference to President Trump as a liar. For those who are no fans of Trump that was stating the obvious. But for James Comey, steeped in the protocol of Washington D.C., that was some X-rated stuff.

So what can we take away from today’s hearing?

First, the drip, drip, drip continues. Director Comey’s hearing and his released statement continue the storyline of legally questionable actions by President Trump. The connection between Russia and Trump has smelled funny for a while. Today’s testimony did not put a cap on that funky smell but instead fanned it’s stink. (more…)

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Donald Trump has used Latinos as a piñata from the very first day he launched his campaign. If you’re angry about drugs, crime, the economy—blame it on Latinos, Latinos, Latinos. They were a handy scapegoat to beat up on during rallies and speeches.

But with his budget, Trump takes the verbal abuse and puts it into policy terms. Under the proposed White House budget there are a ton of losers, but Hispanics will be among those hit the hardest.

Some of the pain aimed at Latinos is clear-cut. Under Trump’s budget plan, undocumented immigrants would no longer be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Both of these tax credits represent $40 billion. Based on immigration numbers, the hardest hit would be Latinos.

Then there’s the close to five billion allocated to increased immigration security and enforcement. What this translates into is an even more aggressive pursuit of undocumented persons than we’ve seen in the first couple of months of the new administration. President Trump has no desire to fix a broken immigration system. What he wants are notches on his belt—how many immigrants can he rounded up and shipped off, DREAMers and law abiding immigrants be damned. (more…)