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

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New Year, Same GOP

This year began much like last year ended: Republicans making clear that immigration and border policy is a political issue for them and not a policy issue that they actually want to solve. This week, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) led a delegation of 60 Republican House members to Eagle Pass, Texas for the latest GOP border photo op. During the visit, Speaker Johnson failed to mention that he and his do-nothing allies are blocking billions of dollars of border security and aid to U.S. cities that have been receiving migrants as well as blocking aid to allies like Ukraine. As our executive director Vanessa Cárdenas said, “Speaker Mike Johnson would rather cross the country for a political photo op at the border than cross the Capitol to work on bipartisan solutions on fixing our immigration system and delivering needed funding and resources to the border and cities across the country. This is not a negotiation between two sides seeking solutions, this is gamesmanship designed to delay and divide and likely get to ‘no.’ As we kick off an election year, Republicans again seem poised to move the immigration goalposts to set up a blame game that points fingers at Democrats when bombs rain on Kiev or when buses of migrants sent by Republican Governors go unhoused.”

Texas Republican Says Quiet Part Out Loud on Continuing Budget Negotiations

As another example of Republicans not caring to solve issues like immigration and border policy, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) said the quiet part out loud on the ongoing budget negotiations to CNN this week, “‘Let me tell you, I’m not willing to do too damn much right now to help a Democrat and to help Joe Biden’s approval rating,’ Rep. Troy Nehls, a Texas Republican, told CNN. ‘I will not help the Democrats try to improve this man’s dismal approval ratings. I’m not going to do it.’” It was a rare moment of truth for Republicans, who’ve long shown that they’re not serious negotiators and are not operating in good faith, and would rather push an unworkable and extreme immigration agenda. Our executive director Vanessa Cárdenas added, “On immigration and border policy, Republicans are throwing the equivalent of spaghetti against the wall, with the only commonalities being the extreme and unworkable nature of their ideas and their underlying motivations being about hammering a political message about immigrants and the border instead of getting policy enacted or seeking real solutions.”

NPR Story Highlights Why New Texas Law Put Civil Rights of Citizens at Stake

This week, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against SB4, a recently-passed Texas bill that if implemented would be an extreme show-me-your-papers law that would threaten countless Texas families with potential targeting and detention. And an NPR piece this week highlighted how Gov. Greg Abbott’s relentless anti-immigrant agenda is already threatening the civil rights of U.S. citizens in Texas and how S.B. 4 will only make it worse. As our Texas-based campaigns director Mario Carrillo said, “We’re already seeing what can happen to families that look like mine if SB4 goes into effect; we’ll be targeted, detained and harmed. Gov. Abbott’s extremism on immigration continues to reach new depths, and the DOJ is right to challenge this clearly unconstitutional law.” And on the DOJ’s lawsuit, our legal advisor past president, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Immigration Group Leader, Ulmer & Berne LLP, David Leopold added, “The Texas ‘show me your papers’ law is obviously unconstitutional and an overt challenge to the federal government’s supremacy on immigration. Of course, Texas is hoping to find sympathetic judges who are part of the anti-immigrant pipeline in the judiciary. But if the case is reviewed as a matter of law, it should be a strong rebuke against Texas.”

Three Years Later: January 6 Nativist Conspiracies Remain Central to Threat to Democracy

In the years preceding the Jan. 6 attack, Trump and his allies spread nativist conspiracies to justify subverting a democratic election amongst their supporters. Three years after the violent coup attempt failed, those same anti-democratic nativist conspiracies have only further solidified in the Republican party. A year out from another presidential election, with Donald Trump on the ticket, he and his allies will continue to lay that dangerous foundation. Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said, ““January 6th wasn’t just a tragic day that we should consign to the history books, but a potent reminder of the dangers of nativist conspiracies that are central to the ongoing threat to American democracy. The near-daily conspiratorial lies that we hear from politicians and pundits that make immigrants out to be ‘replacers’ and ‘invaders’ is a tool to justify an assault on our democracy. We must be hyper-vigilant against these lies if we are to safeguard against authoritarianism.” Read more here.

Trump, A Real Threat to Immigrants and Democracy

In their weekly column, Maribel Hastings and David Torres, of America’s Voice en Español (AVES), write that “in sum, 2024 is a new year with old problems, among them: the lack of serious and sensible immigration reform that deals with all the elements, including the legalization of the millions of undocumented people who are among us. And there is also the renewed threat of Trump’s potential return to power, if he wins the Republican nomination and unseats Biden in November.” Hastings and Torres add: “That represents a critical threat if you consider that Trump would attempt to complete what he could not achieve in his first term, not only on immigration, but on other matters, and to try to give free reign to his aspiration of being an autocrat and employing the apparatus of the state to persecute his opposition. It would be like crowning his eternal egotism, where neither the nation, nor its history, achievements, or future fit. Although it sounds dramatic, the threat is real.” Their column was also published at a number of outlets including La OpiniónLatinoCalifornia, and La Tribuna HispanaRead their column in English here and in Spanish here.

AV Analysis on Latest on Inevitably Overblown Latino Vote Hot Takes:
This week, AV published a blog on the often exaggerated, takes on the Latino vote and predictions on how the community will show up in 2024. From our blog, “When it comes to analysis on Latino voters and the electorate, we should listen to the actual experts who come from those communities and who have a track record in studying their points of view. Experts like Maria Cardona and Matt Barreto, who recently wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times titled, “Are Latino voters really defecting in droves to Republicans? Not according to our data.” Read our blog post and full analysis here.

Immigrants Strengthen New York’s Economy

From filling open jobs to paying billions in taxes to bringing in billions of dollars in income, immigrants are making enormous contributions to New York’s economy. AV’s digital team has released a social media toolkit and a series of graphics highlighting key facts on the crucial role immigrants play New York. Click here to share AV’s tweet with one of the graphics.

You Don’t Want to Miss This

New York Has Thousands of Open Jobs – Businesses Looking to Hire Asylum Seekers and Migrants

A recent Spectrum News piece reports that more than 1,000 businesses have signaled they will hire migrants and asylum seekers who have work permits, emphasizing the need for the federal government to step up and expand work authorizations. From the story, “The state Department of Labor has identified 39,456 jobs open to migrants and asylum seekers in New York, but does not keep track of who is hired, as state officials wait for the federal government to reach a deal on immigration reform.”

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