tags: , Press Releases

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

Share This:


“The stakes and contrasts of this election are clear on immigration and how the issue is being used and misused as a political cudgel.” That’s how America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas started the week when we moved past the abbreviated primary season of the presidential race and entered the general election phase. AV’s message is pretty straight-forward: Trump’s extremism and opposition to solutions is a liability for Republicans, presenting the Democrats with an opportunity to shape a clear message addressing American voters’ concerns about an orderly and secure border but combining that with the deep support for legal immigration, legal status for long-settled immigrants and permission to work for immigrants who have a great deal to contribute to our economic success. “In the face of Republican lies, exploitative ugliness, and transparent political gamesmanship, there remains an opportunity for President Biden and Democrats to draw forceful contrasts that better connect with the majority of the electorate than Trump’s dystopic and dangerous vision,” Cárdenas continued. New polling from The Immigration Hub released this week underscoring the balanced approach Americans desire is included in this round-up of polls and other public opinion tracking that AV is constantly updating. Read more here.


Over the past several months, across various experts and messengers, there has been an outpouring of new, clear evidence that immigrants drive economic growth and help the country fight against inflation. This week, the Brookings Institution released a new study showing that increases in immigration, as Reuters reported, “can help explain the surprising strength of consumer spending and overall growth since 2022.” On Tuesday, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) convened a press conference on Capitol Hill with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL), and others to tout some of this recent evidence, studies, reports, and commentary. AV summarized this week some of the recent news herehere, and here, with Vanessa Cárdenas concluding, “Immigration is a strength—not a threat— to America, and immigrants help drive American success, growth, and vitality, both now and throughout our history.” AV and others are making the point that not only are the dire predictions of economic devastation inaccurate but that the U.S. could help itself even more if it had a safe, legal, and orderly immigration system and allowed immigrants already here to earn legal status. As this Dallas Morning News editorial this week states, “It’s the job of Congress to overhaul our immigration system to balance a supply of potential foreign workers with industry demands and to speed up the pace of visa processing to avoid the backlogs that have burdened employers for decades. The success of our economy must not rely on a shadow labor force.” Read more here.


An important NPR story highlighted how right-wing figures and Republicans are fueling fears over the non-existent threat of non-citizens voting as part of their electoral strategy and in pursuit of political power. The story features a former Trump advisor’s support for larger voter suppression measures that would make it harder for actual eligible voters, who happen to be disproportionately Black and brown voters, to participate in our democracy. That’s troubling enough. But what also needs to be understood is what’s new and different. For one, the mainstreaming and widespread use of the “replacement” conspiracy promoted by the right relies on white nationalist and antisemitic tropes and conspiracies. Not only was the replacement conspiracy directly tied to horrific real-world violence in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, but it also lays the groundwork for delegitimizing the democratic process, promoting the lie that elections are rigged and bolstering the false grievance that the votes of “real Americans” are being discounted. The danger is yet another Jan. 6. We don’t have the luxury of pretending we don’t know what’s at stake, said Zachary Mueller, Senior Research Director at AV. “Republicans at the highest levels are spreading the conspiratorial lie about a plot to pollute the November election with fraudulent immigrant votes as an excuse to restrict voting by American citizens and in order to prime the country for another assault on our democracy if the results are not in their favor.” Read more here.


In her weekly column, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that President Biden’s insistence on promoting the so-called “border security” bill that regressive Congressional Republicans demanded and then torpedoed under orders from former President Trump is the most recent example of Democrats making severe concessions with the hope of obtaining some sort of result. “This strategy is effective if the other party negotiates in good faith. But Trump and his Republican army are just looking to politicize the issue, lie, and appeal to racism and xenophobia, as they are doing now with the tragedy of the young Laken Riley. They are not looking for solutions. They want chaos and crisis.” Hastings continues: ”I understand the pressure on Biden because of the border. He wants to show strength, but MAGA Republicans will never support him, even if he deported millions. And swing voters, like the rest of the population, want a balanced solution that integrates border security with a path to legalization and other avenues that permit migrants to enter the country through regular channels. Both can be done. As we have repeated in this space, you have to be on the offense, not the defense, and also talk about the positive that immigration has been, is, and will be for our economy and the fabric of this nation.” Her column was also published in various outlets, including La OpiniónEl Diario NY, and Radio BilingüeRead her column in English here and in Spanish here.


The vast majority of Americans support the welcoming of refugees who are escaping violence and war – and we are seeing that in action in communities all over the nation. In Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, Jill Goldstone recruited several neighbors to sign up for Welcoming Corps, which allows groups of everyday Americans to sponsor refugees. While Goldstone said she didn’t know much about the program, the issue is personal. “Goldstone’s grandmother was a Jewish refugee who emigrated to the United States from Poland when she was 16 years old because of the Holocaust,” The Philadelphia Citizen reported. “I think it’s great when people can help people outside of themselves,” Goldstone said. In Philadelphia, the children of immigrants are “making bags full of candy, coloring books, puzzles, small stuffed animals and pocket-size games” for newly-arrived migrant children who are staying at a shelter in Texas, USA Today reported. The shelter deeply appreciates the efforts of the Philadelphia children and the pro-literacy group Mighty Writers. Migrant families often arrive exhausted mentally and physically from their arduous journeys, and the gift bags allow these kids to just be kids, even if just for an afternoon. “We’re really happy they can support us and support the children,” the shelter said. “They can be entertained by something that keeps them using their minds creatively. That is a real boon to them, and to their parents.” Read more here.


Trump tried to end DACA before – and if he returns to the White House in January 2025, he will finish the job. One of the most troubling aspects of the right-wing Project 2025 plan is the termination of protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants by eliminating staff time for reviewing and processing renewal applications. It could end DACA once and for all, stripping roughly 600,000 young immigrants of work permits and protections from deportation. It’s past time that Dreamers finally be given peace of mind in the country they call home – click here to share our graphic supporting young immigrants.


TheDream.US, the scholarship fund that has helped thousands of undocumented students achieve their higher education goals, has launched an “I am an Immigrant Entrepreneur” campaign featuring the stories of TheDream.US alumni entrepreneurs and the advice they have for undocumented students. One entrepreneur, Nestor, launched a successful career as a DJ after losing his job due to a delayed work permit. Since launching his company, he’s booked gigs with Dodger Stadium, Disney, and Amazon, among a number of major names. He said that while operating a small business isn’t easy, it’s worth it. “For anybody thinking of starting their own business, go for it,” Nestor said. “It’ll be tough. You want to quit. The low points can be very low. But don’t let it break you.” Nicole Wesley, Senior Program Manager of Career Supports at TheDream.US, said it really shouldn’t be a surprise “that so many Dreamers are entrepreneurs. The same type of courage, resilience, creativity, and hard-work needed to start and grow a business are all qualities that immigrants embody.” Click here to learn more about Nestor and the “I am an Immigrant Entrepreneur” campaign.

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