tags: , Press Releases

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

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Senators continued to negotiate – and not get to a final agreement – a package to fund the Ukrainian defense against Putin by gutting asylum in the hopes of winning Republican votes. America’s Voice has been carrying a consistent message, that “most Republicans, especially most House Republicans, want immigration and the border as a political issue to run on, rather than a policy issue to be resolved.” Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) made it plain that this is all politics: “I will not help the Democrats try to improve this man’s dismal approval ratings. I’m not going to do it,” he told CNN. In response, AV Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas noted: “In a rare moment of truth, Rep. Troy Nehls admitted it is all about politics and that Republicans aren’t going to lift a finger to try and deliver needed funding and solutions on immigration and border policy.” AV also worked with the Immigration Hub this week to host a Thursday press call with an array of policy experts who dug deep on what is being discussed in the Hill negotiations. Vanessa moderated and spoke on the call with Andrea Flores, Vice President for Immigration Policy & Campaigns at FWD.us, Tom Jawetz, Former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Official, Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, Policy Director at the American Immigration Council, and Lia Parada, Chief Advocacy Officer at the Immigration Hub. The recording is here and well worth a listen as it was a master class in immigration policy. AV also put out a statement on a series of new analyses on the use of parole as a way of gaining control over border traffic, which is one of the top targets of Republican negotiators. Read more here.


It is not just that the House Oversight Committee’s effort to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is another example of putting political stunts ahead of actually solving challenges for Republicans, it is that the whole exercise in elevating white nationalist talking points endangers our country. In the name of standing up for security, Republicans are echoing the “great replacement theory” and trumpeting that the nation is being “invaded,” which we know has downstream consequences and has been used by multiple mass murderers to justify their attacks on Americans in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and El Paso, among other places. This week the official impeachment hearings got underway, just days after President Biden announced his 2024 campaign at the site of a white nationalist murder scene, Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina. And AV has the receipts: “At least 33 Republican members of Congress from the 118th Congress have used language associated with the great replacement theory to call for Secretary Mayorkas’ impeachment,” our Tuesday statement read. This was echoed on Wednesday when Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said: “Responsible elected officials should recognize the tinderbox moment that our country and our democracy face and work to lower the temperature and encourage solutions to the challenges our country faces. Yet, through the Mayorkas impeachment ruse and larger relentless and politically-driven focus on immigration and border politics, Republicans are doing the opposite and are stoking a climate of fear, division, and danger, including by relying on false white nationalist conspiracies that are already linked to violence, tragedy and threats to our democracy.” Read more here.


The 2024 GOP field has dwindled to just a handful of candidates ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Monday. What leading candidates Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley all have in common is their pledge to mass-purge all undocumented immigrants from the U.S, no matter how long they’ve lived here or how much they’ve contributed to their communities through their hard-earned tax dollars. “This is chilling to contemplate,” Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said in a statement. “The sheer cost – not just in dollars but in the moral fabric of the nation – is too great to comprehend.” This mass purge closing argument ahead of Iowa reveals how Republicans are set to attack and vilify immigrants as part of their strategy to drive voters to the polls in an election year, Political Director Zachary Mueller noted in his recent analysis. But the fact of the matter is that nativist policies are bad for all workers regardless of immigration status, both in Iowa and elsewhere. Said another way: when the abusive and unscrupulous bosses who profit off the exploitation of undocumented workers can’t threaten to call ICE on their employees, that is one major scare tactic they cannot use to bust up a union organizing drive. Reality, of course, doesn’t serve the GOP campaigns seeking primary votes through the demonization of immigrant communities. Read more here, and here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres write that “the United States is debating whether the proliferation of supremacist groups and their rhetoric of hate, towards immigrants precisely, could have fascist inclinations. But there is no doubt that the racist rhetoric utilized by white supremacists and normalized by right-wing politicians and Republican figures has inspired domestic terrorist attacks.” Hastings and Torres add: “Now as a primary candidate and favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, Trump has intensified that rhetoric, utilizing phrases of Nazism like that immigrants are ‘poisoning and destroying the blood’ of the United States. The reality is that Republicans are only looking to politicize the immigration issue without offering solutions. Because solving the problem would take away Republicans’ favorite electoral battering ram, immigration, and their preferred scapegoats, immigrants.” Their column was also published by a number of outlets including La Opinión and Radio BilingüeRead their column in English here and in Spanish here.


During an appearance on the Meet the Press news program this past weekend, Rep. Elise Stefanik, a member of GOP House leadership, shockingly defended Trump’s recent remarks echoing the horrific and deadly rhetoric of a dictator responsible for some of the worst atrocities in human history. “This is language that the Biden campaign, others says ‘is parroting Adolf Hitler.’ Are you comfortable with former President Trump’s comments?” host Kristen Welker questioned. Not only did Stefanik refuse to condemn the indicted former president for sounding just like Hitler, she used the platform to continue spreading debunked disinformation regarding the border. Let’s be clear: when Stefanik is talking about a “border crisis” or spreading disinformation about “open borders,” she is dog-whistling to invoke fear of non-white migrants. But Stefanik didn’t stop there, also using the interview to undermine faith in American democracy by refusing to commit to certifying the results of the 2024 presidential election. It’s shameful behavior that all Republicans who accepted her endorsement should have to own. Read more here.


The “great replacement theory” is a white nationalist conspiracy theory claiming that non-white migrants and asylum seekers are “invading” the U.S. to replace white Americans. While a false and absurd assertion, this conspiracy theory has been cited by racist mass murderers who have carried out numerous terror attacks across the nation. Shockingly, dozens of House Republicans have been using language associated with this deadly and racist conspiracy theory to call for the impeachment of DHS Secretary Mayorkas. Click here to share our tweet calling out anti-immigrant lawmakers for using this dangerous rhetoric as part of their sham impeachment proceedings.


Hundreds of affected individuals, advocates, organization representatives, and elected officials rallied in the nation’s capital on Tuesday to continue urging Senate negotiators and the Biden White House to reject draconian immigration proposals that would, among numerous harmful provisions, mandate mass detention of immigrants and eviscerate decades of established asylum law. “I was in ICE detention for more than six long years,” asylum seeker Jessica Patricia Barahona-Martinez told the rally. “Six years in which they denied me my humanity, treating me less than an animal. In my detention, I felt voiceless, invisible.” Barahona-Martinez said she was rallying this week for those “who couldn’t be here, are detained or deported.” Kica Matos, president of the National Immigration Law Center, said proposals under consideration “would do nothing to improve our immigration system, but they would almost certainly result in more children detained, more families separated, and more people sent back to face persecution and even death.” We need to continue the pressure – click here to read more and then get connected to your senator.

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