tags: , Press Releases

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

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Republicans are reportedly seeking to use the supplemental funding process to enact a host of permanent and draconian immigration changes in exchange for keeping the government open and aiding our allies in Ukraine. Some Senate Democrats, such as Chris Murphy and Michael Bennett, have expressed openness to these talks. This proposal would make harmful, long-lasting changes to asylum but do nothing to actually address our long-broken immigration system or help long-settled immigrants like Dreamers. In one statement, America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas urged Democrats to stand strong and not reward the GOP’s “extremism, brinkmanship and attempt to make permanent policy changes via a short-term funding vehicle.” Cárdenas also joined other experts and leaders, including Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro for a press event discussing the implications of the GOP’s demands. Additionally, AV joined nearly 200 groups in signing a letter urging President Biden and Congress to reject harmful immigration proposals, and along with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Human Rights First, Immigration Hub, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Law Center, and SEIU released a policy memo sharing common sense measures making the existing process work better while keeping communities safe. AV further created a social media toolkit to accompany the memo, which was also featured in Politico. “A smart funding package would better fund the system and ensure humane treatment for asylum applicants and would not permanently block access to safety for all who need refuge,” the memo states. Read more here.  


Election night this week was a very good night for Democrats, again exceeding expectations as voters across the country turned out in an election that was a resounding rebuke of the extreme anti-choice politics of Republicans. Critically, evidence continues to mount that the nativist attacks are not as potent as the right believes them to be. We noted in one post-Election Day blog that GOP candidates in New York and New Jersey “sought to use nativism to boost themselves over the finish line against Democratic opponents during the 2023 elections … But mirroring results seen in previous elections … that anti-immigrant effort largely fell flat.” Despite national Republicans’ obsession with anti-immigrant attacks, they mostly didn’t focus on the issue in competitive 2023 races. If GOP candidates, particularly in red states, believed the Stephen Miller strategy of hyper-aggressive nativist attacks was a silver bullet, they would have used it. They didn’t. But pundits, pollsters, and political observers are all sending the message that Democrats should be terrified of the immigration issue and that supporting anything short of a GOP or GOP-lite position is a huge electoral liability. This conventional wisdom doesn’t, however, align with the electoral evidence. Anti-immigrant messages and opposition to immigration may well deliver for Republicans in a general election in 2024, but all of the evidence from this year and the past years indicate that immigration works mainly to motivate the MAGA-fied Republican base in primaries and has more often than not, failed to deliver for Republicans in a general election. Read more here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres write “[n]ow that the situation at the border has complicated itself and the arrival of refugees to cities around the country are generating tensions, it would be refreshing if both Biden as well as the Democrats set aside the script of ceding to Republican pressure and acted on the offense, not the defense.”  Hastings and Torres add: “After all, whatever they do, Republicans will continue accusing them of having “open borders.” Why not do something that benefits not only migrants, but the economy? Why not continue extending and opening mechanisms to regularize people who are here and those who want to come to work? Soon we will know if the vicious circle on the immigration issue continues, or can be broken.” Their column was also published at a number of outlets, including La Opinión, El Tiempo Latino and Radio Bilingüe. Read their column in English here and in Spanish here.


Two words easily summarize the current state of the GOP: chaos and dysfunction. In the House, Republicans paralyzed the nation’s legislative branch for weeks after ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and holding a series of failed, embarrassing floor votes for candidates that went from bad to worse. In the Senate, Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville has been holding hostage approximately 350 crucial military posts, at risk to our national security and military personnel. He shows no sign of letting down, even after an overworked U.S. military official suffered a major medical emergency. On immigration, both chambers have united to present cruel, extreme and unworkable immigration plans that only make a dysfunctional immigration system worse. Currently, Senate Republicans are floating their deeply unserious proposal that guts asylum and re-ups some of the worst from H.R. 2, better known as the Child Detention Act. Much like Tuberville’s actions – or rather, inaction – in the Senate, the immigration proposals will also result in harm, just now on millions of individuals and families waiting on solutions. Republicans may have finally chosen a House Speaker, but chaos and dysfunction remain in control. Read more here.


The policy memo released by AV and a host of organizations urges Congress to act on three key demands outlined in a graphic from the AV Digital Team: invest in efforts addressing migrant needs; aid cities receiving migrants; and oppose any permanent changes that harm vulnerable asylum applicants. In this all-hands-on-deck moment, you can help add your voice in support of common sense measures by clicking here and sharing our graphic and memo.


In a major victory for farmworkers and the labor movement, tomato harvesters in California’s Stanislaus County won their union election, United Farm Workers (UFW) announced. The victory by Di Mare workers is the first under new California law strengthening workers’ union rights. Farmworkers led the fierce effort to make the law a reality, including launching a 335-mile march from Delano to Sacramento to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to support the legislation. “I joined the Di Mare workers at their victory party on Sunday,” said UFW President Teresa Romero, who was among the participants from last year’s 335-mile journey. “I saw the look of pride and hope in workers’ eyes. I saw their excitement. Thanks to good friends like you supporting the workers’ fight for this new law, they were able to vote off the jobsite and away from the supervisors’ prying eyes … and win!” The Sacramento Bee reports the win has also bolstered the iconic UFW organization, representing the labor union’s first win in the state in six years. Congratulations to Di Mare farmworkers and UFW for this momentous victory. ¡Sí, se puede! Read more here.

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