tags: , Press Releases

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

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The headline on AV’s press statement on Thursday read: “The Art of Killing the Deal – Donald Trump and GOP Prefer No Deal and Chaos to Solutions and Progress,” which captured the week of no progress on an immigration/borderUkraine deal. As we have been saying, Republicans prefer to have a political issue and a “Biden border crisis” hashtag to campaign on rather than anything that would actually address immigration or border solutions. To be clear, we also pointed out that what was being negotiated in the Senate was far from a “solution” and would (or may someday) make things worse. For example, we noted that the humanitarian parole that rescued many Ukrainians from Putin’s tanks was on the verge of being traded away in order to win Republican votes for the weapons that will confront Putin’s tanks. We also noted that the Senators being kept out of the Senate negotiations included those with the most experience in the policy and politics of immigration and the Latino, AAPI, and African-American Senators whose constituents stand to be directly impacted the most by new restrictions on legal immigration. The week that saw anti-immigrant hardliners walking away from a hardline anti-immigrant bill was wrapped up by Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas when she said: “The Republican strategy is crystal clear: use immigrants as a scapegoat instead of delivering on policies that would improve the lives of working people. Without a scary non-white ‘Other’ to demagogue, their political appeals to fear and division fall apart. They are turbocharging and recycling the nativist political strategy that failed to deliver for the Trump-led Republicans in 2018, 2020, and 2022.” Read more here.


Texas has been trying to provoke a fight with the federal government over immigration, and on Monday, the next chapter in the saga unfolded when the Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration’s ability to cut through the concertina wire Texas laid to prevent federal authorities from accessing the border. The reaction from politicians and pundits was a shockingly dangerous escalation, from indirect calls for civil war and for citizens to take up vigilante arms. AV identified at least 17 Members of Congress who have employed the white nationalist replacement and invasion conspiracy in reaction to the decision. The reaction from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton was equally so, appearing to assert that they are flouting the Court’s ruling (even if they technically haven’t) and citing the debunked legal theory about an “invasion” that is directly linked to a white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy that has inspired multiple deadly terrorist attacks as their justification. Additionally, 25 governors, half the states in the Union, signed a letter in support of Texas and affirmed its “invasion” conspiracy defense as Trump took to his social media platform to call on those governors to activate their state’s National Guard to join in the armed standoff with the federal government. Outside of their conspiratorial white nationalist fiction, their constitutional claims predictively fall apart. Beyond the merits of Texas’ legal theory, the threat emanating from the official embrace of the “invasion” conspiracy theory goes much deeper. “Governor Abbott isn’t just harmlessly playing constitutional cowboy, his vapid legal theory is a direct and immediate threat to public safety and our democracy,” said Cárdenas. “The official position of the State of Texas is to rely on a white nationalist conspiracy theory to stoke fear, ramp up vigilantism, and attempt to nullify federal law. The normalization of this conspiracy provides further fuel to the election deniers. Unfortunately, we know all too well where this escalating rhetoric and incitement can lead, as does Gov. Greg Abbott.” Read more here.


We expect to see the House GOP’s bogus impeachment effort against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas kick into high gear in the coming days. Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has said that the House could hold a vote on the Secretary’s impeachment as soon as next week, despite lack of any evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors. The fact is that this impeachment effort makes us less safe, because Republican members have made white nationalist conspiracy theories central to their mission. “Yes, these impeachment hearings are a sham without evidence but they are also extremely dangerous political stunts,” Cárdenas said ahead of a House Homeland Security Committee hearing last week. “The GOP Majority is using their power to vociferously normalize and amplify conspiracy theories steeped in white nationalism and antisemitism that have inspired multiple deadly acts of terrorism. These are the terrible facts at the heart of this effort.” AV has continued promoting a social media toolkit featuring graphics and memes calling out members for embracing this dangerous rhetoric, as well as continued tracking new examples of Republican House Homeland Security Committee amplifying this extremist and conspiratorial language. Read more here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres write that “Trump has promised mass deportations, to begin when he assumes the presidency in January 2025, if he does beat Biden. It is precisely those types of ideas that President Biden should consider, now that we are at the doors of a deal between Republicans, Democrats, and the White House over the plan for aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, which involves changes to asylum laws.” While this deal now seems to have been killed by Republicans, Trump keeps exploiting his favorite issue in the campaign trail. Hastings and Torres add: “But Biden, despite having instituted 535 immigration actions in his term so far, seems to find himself between a rock and a hard place: ensuring that his central foreign policy issue, Ukraine, obtain funds to continue combating the Russian invasion; or ceding to Republican demands on immigration matters, along the way disappointing pro-immigrant groups and, even worse, the voters for whom this issue determines how or whether they will vote at all. And in the face of Trump and a highly enthusiastic MAGA base, every vote counts.” Their column was also published at a number of outlets including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe and El PuenteRead their column in English here and in Spanish here.


In the GOP primaries, exemplified in the ongoing presidential contest, candidates have competed for the hard core base voters motivated by nativist appeals by employing more dehumanizing rhetoric and extreme policy promises. However, exit polls from the recent New Hampshire race – where Trump defeated former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and continued to solidify his support among the base – provided a look into the immigration views on voters outside of the MAGA base. According to the polls, 44% of the voters in this primary identified as independent, while 6% identified as Democrats. When asked about the status of undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, 42% of all primary voters said they should be offered a chance at legal status, while 55% said they should be deported. That’s actually better than we might have imagined, considering the ugliness and vitriol of the GOP candidate field. Haley’s breakdown is even more enlightening, given her voters were more independent minded. When asked, 68% said undocumented immigrants should be offered legal status, while 23% said they should be deported. The results of the legal status question of Haley voters gives a better window into the views of the non-MAGA base, and it’s consistent with polling we’ve seen for years: most Americans want solutions. Read more here.


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is officially out of the 2024 presidential race, following a dismal second place finish in Iowa. However, there’s no understating the harm his policies and rhetoric will continue to pose, both in his state and across the nation. In Florida, legislation and edicts he put into place to boost his presidential campaign will continue to threaten multiple communities. On immigration policy, rather than endorse the pathway to legalization supported by most Americans, he helped normalize calls for racist violence at the southern border. Click here to share our Instagram post on DeSantis’ exit from the 2024 race and the continued dangers following his run.


The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has released a new report detailing how several states “improved access to driver’s licenses, higher education, professional licenses, childcare, tax credits, and nutrition assistance, protected workers’ rights, strengthened consumer privacy, and invested in access to counsel for immigrants” in 2023. In Minnesota, a Democratic trifecta passed laws that advocates had been championing for years, including expanding health care access and driver’s licenses to eligible immigrants. Delaware, meanwhile, joined seven other states in allowing eligible individuals to obtain professional licenses, regardless of immigration status. These policies benefit everyone, because healthier families, safer roads, and a more robust workforce make for stronger communities. “Despite the hostile rhetoric surrounding the southern border, states and localities continued to invest in the health and well-being of immigrant community members,” NILC continued. Read the full report, “States Continue to Invest in the Health and Well-Being of Immigrants: Highlights from 2023,” here.

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