tags: , Press Releases

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

Share This:


<align=”center;font-size: large”=””></align=”center;font-size:>All week, Senators continued negotiating how badly and fully they were willing to throw asylum seekers and immigrants under the bus in order to get Republicans to accept aiding Ukraine and other allies. The consistent message from pro-immigrant advocates has been that immigrants are not political bargaining chips, but actual human beings fleeing for safety. Opponents of immigration, like Senator Cornyn of Texas, made it clear that this is blackmail. While there is a supermajority that already supports Ukraine aid, they will not vote for it until they win as much as they can from Democrats on cutting legal avenues for immigrants and people seeking asylum. And the White House has spent most of the week making massive, heart-breaking concessions in the – foolish – attempt to win over Republicans. At America’s Voice, we have been making two main points: 1) none of what the Republicans want can be accurately described as “border security,” and will actually make things worse; and 2) Republicans will not relent in attacking the President and Dems no matter how much they concede on immigrants – but it could have a significant impact on Biden’s own voters, who are not that enthusiastic about him anyway. In addition to commenting on each twist and turn, AV staged two press calls to get our message out. One featured national security, Ukraine and asylum experts, including Jason Houser, former ICE Chief of Staff and the retired head of the US Army in Europe, 3-Star General Ben Hodges and Michael Breen of Human Rights First. The second featured leaders from U.S. cities who would benefit from the FEMA aid money contained in the supplemental package the Senate is stalling, including New York Immigration Coalition in NYC, CHIRLA in Los Angeles and the MIRA Coalition in Boston. To end the week, AV turned more sharpy at the White House, with Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas saying, “Restoring the soul of America shouldn’t mean embracing Trump immigration policies or giving in to Republicans’ extreme demands.” Read more here.


Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy explicitly and repeatedly endorsed the white nationalist and antisemitic “great replacement” theory this week, first on Twitter and then during the fourth GOP debate on Wednesday. White nationalists were reportedly ecstatic over Ramaswamy’s endorsement of the conspiracy theory, elated at hearing their despicable beliefs so explicitly stated on a national platform. On a different stage in Iowa, indicted former President Donald Trump leaned into his description as a would-be dictator, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that “we’re closing the border. After that, I’m not a dictator, okay?” Trump’s remark follows previous rhetoric that was already drawing alarming comparisons to authoritarians of the last century. Meanwhile, multiple candidates at the GOP debate affirmed their pledges to invade our neighbor Mexico, continuing to reveal that the radicalization of the GOP runs much deeper than Trump. It’s important to remember that these candidates are not kooks making unsavory comments from a dark basement, but instead people with real power mainstreaming these ideas to massive audiences. And, the violent, bigoted movements are hearing that message loud and clear. Read more here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres write that “basically, the Republicans want to change asylum laws and implement a series of cruel and excessive migration measures. And if they don’t get their way, there will be no aid to Ukraine. This is a cruel and ignominious blackmail that puts the lives of thousands of migrating families at risk.” Hastings and Torres add: “There’s no doubt that insensitivity and a lack of empathy are a type of identity trait among Republicans, who seem to like that in every legislative negotiation that implicates the issue of immigration the coin be always up in the air, not caring about what happens to those who have risked everything in search of a change in their lives and those of their families—as has been the tradition of migration throughout the history of the United States.” Their column was also published at a number of outlets including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe and La Tribuna HispanaRead their column in English here and in Spanish here.


The latest digital ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is a reminder of the disturbing and new territory we are likely to see explode in a pivotal election year. The ad is full of bigoted disinformation from front to back, employing AI technology to falsely claim that Democrats want to “overrun” national parks with “illegal immigrants.” The ad displays AI-generated images of cramped park grounds, with piles of trash everywhere. But this is nothing but xenophobic fantasy with a core strategic racist message – that non-white immigrants are a direct threat to the nation. We already got a taste of this last year, when Arizona GOP candidate Blake Masters produced an ad with animation that was more reminiscent of a zombie video game. Ridiculous, yes. But it still employed the white nationalist “invasion” conspiracy tied to numerous deadly terror attacks across the U.S. From QAnon to the Big Lie to the great replacement theory, we have seen how bigoted conspiracies spill into deadly real-world attacks. The NRCC ad should be a stark reminder that this deeply troublesome trend is likely only to be exacerbated with AI tools. Read more here.  


Mobile billboards that circled Capitol Hill this week urged Congressional lawmakers currently engaged in supplemental funding negotiations to reject a GOP proposal that threatens decades of established U.S. asylum law in exchange for funding our allies in Ukraine. “Don’t Trade Trump’s Immigration Agenda for Ukraine Aid,” read one of the billboards from Casa in Action, The Immigration Hub, NYIC Action, and America’s Voice. “Protect Refugees, Resist Trumpism.” Click here to share our Instagram post on the mobile billboards and take a stand for asylum-seekers, and our allies in Ukraine.


Ahead of Governor Greg Abbott’s signing of Senate Bill 4, advocates from across Texas hosted a press call to discuss the legal implications of the legislation and how, if implemented, this law would impact not only immigrants in Texas, but citizens as well. During the fourth special legislative session, the Texas House passed two anti-immigrant bills, Senate Bill 4 and Senate Bill 3. S.B. 4 authorizes any and all law enforcement to arrest, and judges to order removed, anyone suspected of having entered Texas without papers. It’s expected to be signed by Governor Abbott soon, and will go into effect 91 days after the fourth legislative session ends. During the call, speakers urged the Department of Justice to step in and immediately halt SB 4’s inherent discrimination from moving forward. A potentially impacted person shared her important story and experience as a Texan and community member. Click here to listen.

Not a subscriber to our weekly immigration policy and politics updates? You can sign up right here.