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

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As the horrific and tragic situation in Israel and Gaza continues to unfold, Donald Trump has led the Republican Party and the political right to exploit the events for their own cynical politics, America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller writes. Looking to fan the flames of division and hate, the leading candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination took to his social media platform to peddle baseless conspiratorial rhetoric about the U.S.-Mexico border. But rather than recognizing that this is a critically sensitive moment where vile ideas must be rejected from the mainstream, his Republican allies only added their voices to the fearmongering, using their platforms to spread bigoted conspiracies and exploiting the situation to demand the adoption of their extremist anti-immigrant agenda. There is, of course, no evidence that terrorists have entered the U.S. through the southern border. Nor is the border open, a point Biden administration officials and a lot of others have repeatedly stated. But this multilayered conspiracy isn’t concerned with facts. Instead, the thinly veiled, partisan and bigoted fearmongering is the point. Read more here.


GOP disarray continues. As of this writing, there is no House Speaker or a functioning House on the horizon. Meanwhile, the American people want leadership, action and a clear path to address immigration challenges, which include high numbers of asylum seekers reaching the border and U.S. cities and the hardships they face along the way. Rather than having a clear set of policy responses defined by a stated and well-articulated strategy, Democrats and the White House appear to be all over the map. As AV Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said of President Biden, “…the failure to aggressively define and defend this larger vision will not only threaten the viability of this policy agenda but the range of other priorities and political power Democrats care about.” AV has recommended a series of approaches for the administration to respond to the policy and political challenges and others are also making concrete asks (see, for example, these updated recommendations from Human Rights First to uphold and upgrade asylum). While there is such a sharp contrast between complete dysfunction on the one hand and solutions-oriented governance on the other, pro-immigrant advocates should keep pushing out clear, solutions-oriented proposals and hopefully, eventually, some of our leaders will follow. Read more from our latest statement here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres also noted that “Republican opportunism to inject fear, even using the tragedy of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, is like a bottomless well. And once again, former president Donald Trump is the standard-bearer of a Republican Party controlled and defined by extremist and racist voices.” Hastings and Torres add: “Republicans are taking advantage of a tragedy of huge proportions in order to impose their agenda of anti-immigrant measures that do not resolve the fundamental problem of an obsolete migration system, the same one that also does not respond to the humanitarian, economic, or family needs of today.” Their column was also published at a number of outlets including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe and El Periódico USARead their column in English here and in Spanish here.


Eligible immigrants have begun applying for relief under the Biden administration’s recent extension and redesignation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Under the expansion, an additional 472,000 Venezuelan nationals will now be eligible to apply for deportation protection and work permits. That includes roughly 60,000 individuals in New York City alone, where organizations are holding educational workshops, legal clinics, and assisting eligible immigrants with their applications. Among these applicants is Jhonnattan, who was among the first in New York City to apply. While he has an asylum claim pending after fleeing death threats in Venezuela, the asylum backlog means it could be years before there’s a decision in his case. Applying for TPS could give immigrants much quicker access to work permits in order to work legally and more fully contribute to their communities. “It’s time to give it my all to whatever comes my way and always keep my head held high and stay positive,” Jhonnattan said. Read more here.


The AV Digital Team reviewed the 2024 Republican presidential candidates’ immigration plans so you don’t have to. The results? From echoing white nationalist conspiracy theories to wanting to revoke the 14th Amendment in order to redefine American citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, the plans are extreme, unworkable, and cruel. One thing they have in common across the board is that none have any plans to create legal pathways to citizenship. Click below to share our GOP scorecard on immigration graphic.


Forty-four bipartisan House members have signed a letter urging the Biden administration to redesignate Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status. While the administration extended protections for Nicaraguan immigrants already in the U.S. through June 2024, it did not issue a redesignation, meaning that immigrants who’ve arrived to the U.S. since the initial designation are ineligible to apply. “A TPS redesignation for Nicaragua would undoubtedly save lives and be one of the most consequential immigration policies to date for the administration,” lawmakers said. “A redesignation would provide security and opportunity to those already living in the United States and waiting in legal limbo.” Read the AV blog here. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava is among leaders outside of Congress urging the administration to act on Nicaraguan TPS, writing in a Spanish-language op-ed at Univision that “Miami has shown the entire country that when immigrants have an opportunity to belong and contribute, we all benefit.” Read Mayor Cava’s full op-ed here. You can show your support for Nicaraguan TPS by clicking here to share our AV graphic.

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