tags: , Press Releases

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

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Donald Trump and Speaker Mike Johnson are holding a press conference at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence to promote a cynical bill solving a non-existent issue. As reported by USA Today, the proposal is “aimed at preventing non-citizens from voting.” But as the article rightly notes, “Non-citizens are already not allowed to vote in federal elections in the United States, and it’s not a common occurrence.” In a statement, America’s Voice called the political stunt a reminder of how Trump’s relentless anti-immigrant focus, including on white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories, poses a threat to all Americans and our democratic values. “Promoting the lie that elections are rigged and bolstering the false grievance that the votes of ‘real Americans’ are being discounted hearkens to the white nationalist replacement theory and is fodder for challenging elections and stoking political violence,” said Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas. In an op-ed published in English and Spanish at Univision, she wrote that as we saw on January 6, “the threat of violence is not a theoretical worry. Further, we at America’s Voice have been sounding the alarm on the increasingly violent language we are hearing from Trump and the right wing when it comes to immigrants – blaming them for invading our country, drug trafficking, sensationalizing a handful of crimes committed by immigrants, and now even blaming immigrants for rigging the election.” Read more here.


Republicans were set to move the sham impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate this week, only to delay this supposedly urgent matter until next week. The main reason? Trump is set to face his first of several criminal trials, and they likely want to distract from that. This political delay only highlights the farcical nature of this sham impeachment. In a statement, AV reminded of three key points: the GOP’s messaging around this impeachment has mainstreamed dangerous conspiracy theories; mainstreaming these white nationalist conspiracies “fuels the threat landscape we encounter”; and the impeachment is a key component of the right-wing’s “blame Biden” political attack that started when Trump was in office. Sec. Mayorkas has repeatedly warned about domestic terrorism that could be inspired by the kind of “invasion” used by Republicans like Trump, Johnson, and Texas’ Greg Abbott. “Unfortunately, these Republicans choose to ignore the real-life violence their rhetoric inspires,” AV Campaigns Director Mario Carrillo wrote in an op-ed published at El Paso Matters. “In August 2019, a gunman drove 10 hours to commit a massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, killing 23 people as, according to his screed, a ‘response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.’ We’ve seen similar incidents in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.” Read more here.


During a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing this week, GOP witness Jessica Vaughan claimed that she was unaware of the racist and antisemitic great replacement theory and that she hasn’t used the dangerous “invasion” rhetoric central to that white nationalist conspiracy theory. So why is this significant? First, Vaughan is lying about not using “invasion” rhetoric. Second, Vaughan is a staffer with the anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies. So for a Tanton network member and GOP witness to distance themselves from this toxic conspiracy theory – which is now an integral part of Republican speeches, ads, and campaigns – and then lie about never using language associated with it is a pretty big deal. It all happened under ferocious questioning from Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL), who laid out the seriousness of this conspiratorial rhetoric and the direct harm it poses to families and communities all across the nation. She pointed to numerous racist mass terror attacks. Great replacement rhetoric “dehumanizes millions of people seeking safety, protection and refuge,” she said. “It dehumanizes people like my mother, Maria Ramirez, who crossed the border pregnant with me. And it dehumanizes me. Dehumanizing rhetoric endangers us all, and we must categorically condemn it.” Read more here.


Ahead of Tax Day on Monday, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that the same immigrants that Trump demonizes – particularly those without legal immigration status – contribute billions in taxes every year. “According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), undocumented immigrants and their households annually pay almost $80 billion in federal taxes and $41 billion in state and local taxes,” she writes. “But they go further. They also finance programs such as Social Security and Medicare through their employers even though they could not access these benefits given their immigration status.” Hastings says that when combining taxes paid by all immigrants in the U.S., annual contributions come to a staggering $525 billion. Creating a path to citizenship for undocumented workers would prove to be a further boon for the economy. But instead of welcoming them, Republicans reject them, Hastings says. “Which leads us to conclude that prejudice, racism and political opportunism weigh more for Trump and the Republicans than the possibility of legalizing the undocumented and immigrant workforce that pays their taxes but that they demonize to agitate their anti-immigrant base.” Her column was also published in several outlets, including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe, and La Tribuna HispanaRead her column in Spanish here.


Across the country, immigrants, regardless of legal immigration status, make robust contributions to the nation, as Hastings noted in her column. These immigrant households make robust contributions to their communities as well through state income taxes, purchases, and work in essential industries. In Iowa, for example, immigrant-led households pay $630.6 million in local and state taxes annually, while undocumented-led households pay $50.5 million in local and state taxes annually. Immigrant workers have been critical in the state, helping combat labor shortages due to aging and population decline across rural areas. This is particularly notable in several state industries, including dairy and meatpacking. When Tyson Foods offered double the state’s minimum wage in an effort to attract meatpacking plant workers, employers struggled to find U.S.-born Americans to fill these jobs. Who filled this labor gap? Immigrants. Nativism is bad economics, plain and simple. Read more here.


“Shooters have cited [invasion rhetoric] in their manifestos,” Rep. Ramirez said during the House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing this week, pointing to racist mass terror attacks in El Paso, Buffalo, Poway, and Pittsburg. “And I believe that words matter, and the great replacement rhetoric is harmful. It dehumanizes millions of people seeking safety, protection and refuge.” Click here to watch Rep. Ramirez’s remarks and the continued risks of this dangerous and deadly rhetoric.


During a press call this week, Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), and Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) joined an impacted individual still in Haiti, Haitian-led organizations and allies to urge the Biden administration to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Haiti, including by redesignating Temporary Protected Status for the small nation. During the call, an impacted individual identified only as “E” for safety reasons described the situation in Haiti in harrowing tones. “What we have been witnessing currently is unprecedented in our country’s history,” E said. “There has been government complacency in what we’re seeing right now. All of the areas that previously were safe are not safe.” See coverage on the press call from Reuters here. More than 250 faith leaders and organizations have also urged the Biden administration to act, writing that conditions in Haiti have only worsened since the last redesignation in 2022. “The situation therefore meets the TPS designation criteria of temporary and extraordinary conditions that make a safe return to Haiti impossible,” they said. Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick, Congress’ lone Haitian-American lawmaker, noted during the press call that the “time has come for us to stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti and their fight for peace, order, and stability.” Read more here.