tags: , Press Releases

#15: Your Quick Summary Of the Week From America’s Voice

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This week, America’s Voice released a unique poll of Central Americans along with additional research that together indicates that the ubiquitous right wing anti-immigrant sound bite that “the borders are open” is actually contributing to the number of people coming to our borders. In the poll of 600 people ages 16-39 in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, 18% (roughly 1 in 5) believe the falsehood that the border is “open” and it is easy to ask for asylum. Twenty-seven percent (1 in 4) recalled having heard a U.S. politician or official say the border is “open” in the past 6 months, and for young people in the survey, that number was 1 in 3. Those who recalled hearing such a message were more likely to believe it and after hearing such messages, showed a significantly higher interest in coming themselves or advising a loved one to make the journey. According to Media Matters for America, Fox News and Newsmax discussed “open borders” over 7,000 times (time that is worth $30 billion to advertisers) from Nov. 2020 to Aug. 2023 and AV has tracked 832 unique tweets – and 97 paid communications – from GOP candidates, committees or office holders Feb. 2023 to Aug. 2023. Veteran border reporter Alfredo Corchado’s stories in English (Dallas Morning News) and Spanish (Al Día) provide additional details. Learn more in our press release (English here and Spanish here), and our bilingual digital toolkit for advocates and allies.


Republican presidential candidates gathered for the second GOP debate this week at the Reagan Library sponsored by Univision and Fox Business. While the late president spoke of the “shining city on the hill’ and enacted a law providing millions of immigrants a path to citizenship, candidates’ rhetoric – from calls for violence against Mexico to fentanyl disinformation to an end of birthright citizenship – was “an extreme, cruel, and unworkable reflection of the continued descent of the GOP,” America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said in post-debate release. “All in all, it was another reminder of the GOP’s preference for dangerous political rhetoric and fomenting division between Americans instead of real attempts to advance solutions and unite Americans on a range of issues, including on immigration and 21st century migration.” Cárdenas also provided debate analysis in interviews with Univision and SiriusXM Progress. Ahead of the debate, AV shared a host of resources, including a social media toolkit and key questions to look out for. A number of these questions were raised during the debate. Read more of our post-debate analysis here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres write that today’s GOP “has become a sort of sect that, rather than imposing its plans for policy action to benefit the nation, has decided to worship a figure who only looks out for his own interests—personal, political, and economic.” Hastings and Torres add: “Now, it is the extremist wing that dominates the discourse, and their leaders have become a sort of hostages, although voluntary, as fear of criticizing or confronting Trump has led them to normalize the most virulent rhetoric against immigrants, and embrace a divisive and even violent discourse that has inspired more than one massacre against minorities in the United States.” Their column was also published at a number of outlets including La OpiniónLa Tribuna Hispana, and Radio BilingüeRead their column in English here and in Spanish here.


As candidates flocked to California’s Simi Valley for the second GOP debate this week, we revisited the trajectory that took the Golden State from a Republican bastion to a Democratic stronghold. Attacks on immigrant communities were a major factor, in particular from former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. His nativist pet project, the wildly anti-immigrant Proposition 187, would have had dire consequences on families across the state, by blocking undocumented residents from health care, public education, and other social services. It was met with massive protests, including some of the largest demonstrations the state had ever seen. While voters approved this proposition on the 1994 ballot, it was later found unconstitutional by a federal district court judge. Still, Wilson and Prop. 187 have been widely credited with pushing Latino voters away from the California GOP, igniting a shift in electoral politics that continues to this day. Read more here.


House Republicans despicably tried to use a Natural Resources Committee hearing to further push their extreme rhetoric and demonization of immigrant communities. However, they got strong pushback from Democrats on the committee, who told them to come to the table with real solutions. “Stop blocking it, stop bringing false solutions forward and stop using the people of New York for a publicity stunt – and stop demonizing the people who are coming to seek asylum,” New Mexico Rep. Melanie Stansbury said. Click here to watch and share Rep. Stansbury’s remarks in defense of immigrants.


Immigrants and workers with CHIRLA Action Fund, SEIU United Service Workers West, and partner organizations gathered outside the GOP debate this week to call out presidential candidates’ hateful and increasingly violent rhetoric and issue powerful reminders that immigrant workers help give Simi Valley – and the entire state, for that matter – its strength. In another people-powered action on the opposite side of the country, 100 immigrant activists from the FIRM Network demonstrated outside the White House to urge President Biden to defend communities and keep his immigration promises. Approximately 10 advocates – including immigration champion and former Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez – were arrested. Click here for more on the CHIRLA Action Fund, SEIU United Service Workers West, and partner organizations rally, and here for more on the FIRM Network rally.

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