tags: , Press Releases

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

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As of this writing, Senators are leaving Washington with no deal in place to trade increased deportations and restricted legal immigration or asylum for aid to fight Putin in Ukraine. The White House and Democratic Senators are still pledged to working with Republican Senators to craft a lopsided and politically disastrous bill that will make border security and border management – not to mention human rights and human suffering – much worse. America’s Voice has been stressing three main points: 1) On politics, embracing Republicans’ demands wouldn’t ratchet down the GOP’s 2024 anti-immigrant attacks but would alienate key voting constituencies; 2) On public opinion: The policies on the table don’t meet the American public’s immigration sentiments and do blur important contrasts between the parties; and 3) On policies: The details of what’s on the table threaten to add to border chaos and pressures and should not be short-handed as “border security.” What is being discussed goes way beyond “border” or “security.” Between now and their return in January, lawmakers may still be working in a back room or Zoom to make a bad deal and AV and many others will keep pushing them towards more sensible outcomes – and keeping you and others informed along the way. Read more here.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed S.B. 4, an extreme “show me your papers” law that if implemented will empower any law enforcement officer in the state to enforce federal immigration laws and question the citizenship of anyone they suspect to have entered the country illegally. This new law is a continued crackdown in Texas on the civil rights and freedoms of Texans and has already been challenged in court by El Paso County and two immigrant rights organizations on its constitutionality. “It’s hard to believe given their relentless anti-immigrant focus in recent years, but this new law means Texas Republicans have actually escalated their cruelty and ugliness on the issue and the targeting of immigrant and Latino communities throughout our state,” said Mario Carrillo, Texas-based Campaigns Director for America’s Voice. “We need solutions on immigration that Texas Republicans in Congress are helping to block and obstruct, not anti-immigrant scapegoating and new laws that will target and profile Texas families like mine.” Read more here. Sports and culture commentator Stephen A. Smith also issued an epic takedown of the law. Watch it here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres write about the dangers for Democrats of appeasing Republicans by accepting all their extreme immigration demands in the supplemental bill funding Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. It is not wise from the policy and the politics perspectives. They comment that “we are entering another election year and the president will begin to look for support from the groups that formed his winning coalition in 2020, including Latinos. But if these immigration measures are codified in law, there’s really no distinction from Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.” Hastings and Torres add: “It’s always said that immigration is not one of the top issues for Latino voters, but in reality it’s a matter that defines the candidates. And for those millions of families with a mixed migration status—where undocumented people live under the same roof as citizens and voters—it becomes a crucial topic for their well-being. So if the agreement is postponed until January, let’s pray that Biden and the Democrats understand very well what is at play, from a public policy point of view as well as an electoral one.” 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.


Back in 2017, Senator Chuck Schumer and then-Senator Kamala Harris were among leaders to join advocacy groups and affected families to oppose funding then-President Trump’s deportation force. Some speakers at the event, like 13-year-old Fatima, had already experienced family separation before Trump made it state policy. “My dad was detained in front of me on my way to school,” she said. Senator Schumer noted the administration would be better off investing in jobs or infrastructure, “not in separating American families, harming kids and local economies who are without workers …” But today, some Senate Democrats and the Biden-Harris administration are considering similar interior enforcement that could lead to further family separation. Among the cruel, ineffective, and permanent Trump policies that Republicans are demanding in exchange for Ukraine funding – and that Democrats are considering – is an effort to expand rapid deportations to the entire U.S. During that 2017 press conference, Senator Schumer called immigrants “an integral part of this country,” and said Democrats would remain “strong in our commitment to upholding the promise of America.” We need our champions to continue to remain strong in their commitments. Read more here.


Republicans didn’t just lean in on extremism in 2023 – they bearhugged it, spending tens of millions of dollars on anti-immigrant ads and citing deadly white nationalist conspiracy theories hundreds of times in their official capacity. Even after this kind of dangerous rhetoric has resulted in a body count in U.S. communities like El Paso, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, several Republican candidates still platformed this deadly rhetoric to national audiences during their presidential primary debates earlier this year. “Rhetoric that is linked to real-world acts of violence like ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement’ has no place in the public debate about immigration and the border,” America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said at the time. “We can disagree on how to approach the challenges we face, but words matter.” Click here to share the AV’s tweet calling out GOP extremism.


In what is our final quick summary for 2023, we want to thank you for subscribing and hope we’ve been keeping you informed about the latest news and developments from our movement. We also want to make sure you don’t miss our blog highlighting some of our immigration wins and big moments from the year – because while the headlines may focus on the negative, there were lots of them! From TPS redesignations for a number of nations, to driver’s license implementation across several states, to farmworker unionization wins in New York and California, our movement achieved a host of victories throughout 2023. Our communities should be proud – some of these wins have followed years of hard work by advocates and will go a long way to protect families. “Sometimes we are pushed to work so hard, it doesn’t feel doable,” said Santos Mendoza Escamilla, a New York farmworker who said he now feels like he has somebody in his corner. “It was always the boss’s word. Now with a union, we feel we have someone pushing back.” Read more on our wins and big moments here – and see you in 2024.

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