tags: , Press Releases

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

Share This:


On Thursday, the U.S. reinstituted deportations to Haiti, sending dozens of Haitians back to dangerous conditions in the nation via the first deportation flight to the nation since January. “Why is the U.S. exacerbating chaos and cruelty in a country already grappling with a humanitarian and insecurity crisis?” Guerline Jozef, Co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, and founding member of Cameroon Advocacy Network, stated in response. “This action not only violates U.S. and international law but is also morally reprehensible and represents a flawed foreign policy.” Conditions in Haiti have only worsened in recent months. Haiti’s acting prime minister resigned this past March, leaving the country in unrest and without a functional government. The U.S. State Department has acknowledged the severity of this crisis by instituting a level four “do not travel” advisory. Deporting Haitians back to this danger is simply cruel and against our values. “President Biden has said the U.S. is a ‘close and enduring friend’ of Haiti,” said America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas. “The way to treat our friend during a time of deep crisis and unrest is not to reinstitute deportations. Continuing to do so merely fuels more chaos which is against our national interests and inconsistent with core American values and with standing Biden administration policy.” Read more here.


Just in time for the very anticlimactic Mayorkas impeachment trial in the Senate, the far-right Heritage Foundation “discovered” a flier allegedly posted by a border migrant service organization in porta-potties near Matamoros (Tamaulipas, Mexico) and Brownsville (Texas, USA) and publicized it breathlessly online. Heritage is the outfit behind Project 2025, which (among other things) is the blueprint to dismantle immigration under a second Trump presidency. The fliers, poorly translated into Spanish, appeared to be encouraging migrants to vote for President Biden as soon as they crossed into the U.S. (that is already illegal and doesn’t really happen), and Heritage made further leaps to say that the organization allegedly issued the fliers (but didn’t) was affiliated with HIAS (they are not) and therefore Mayorkas (nope) who once sat on their board. The fliers were so clearly fabricated that even the border hawks at Fox News were “extremely skeptical” that the fliers were legit (they weren’t). But these verifiable facts didn’t prevent several Members of Congress (including Jewish space laser conspiracy pusher Marjorie Taylor Greene) from lifting the bogus fliers up as “evidence” that Democrats, Jews, and advocacy groups (some funded by George Soros, who is Jewish) are plotting to import voters for the November election to undermine the power of white, Christian people. So why are we calling attention to this? Because the foundation for the sham Mayorkas impeachment, GOP attacks on Biden, and attacks on immigration are all wrapped up in the antisemitic and xenophobic “replacement” and “invasion” conspiracies that have gotten people killed from El Paso to Buffalo to Pittsburgh and beyond and is even the justification for Texas’ unconstitutional SB4Read more here.


In her weekly column, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that Trump and Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson have united to promote a bill purporting to prevent non-citizens from voting in federal elections. However, this is already illegal and is extremely rare, according to experts from the Brennan Center for Justice. You have to instead read between the lines, Hastings writes. “In reality, they pave the way to accuse Democrats of ‘fraud’ if Trump loses the general election, and they seek to solidify and promote state laws and proposals that seek to make it difficult and suppress the vote of people of color.” More than a dozen states have already passed such laws. But Trump and Johnson are also using this debunked non-citizen voting claim to advance the great replacement theory, which claims that non-white migrants and others are intentionally being brought into the country to dilute the voting power of white Americans. The threat here isn’t the non-existent issue of non-citizen voting, but rather Trump and his allies seeking to delegitimize our democratic process, all in pursuit of political power. “In conclusion, the claims of ‘election fraud’ made by Trump and his Republican cult have a dual purpose: to provide them with an excuse in case they lose the election and justify laws that restrict the right to vote of minorities to the detriment of our democracy,” Hastings writes. Her column was also published in several outlets, including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe, and La Tribuna HispanaRead her column in Spanish here.


New data shows that tens of thousands of Americans have signed up to help welcome refugees under the Biden administration’s recent expansion of its private sponsorship program. Niskanen Center said that new figures from the Community Sponsorship Hub reveal that 65,000 people have signed up to be a part of Welcome Corps, which allows groups of Americans to come together to sponsor a refugee financially. Welcome Corps shared the story of one group of sponsors in Austin, Texas. While the Association for Congolese in Austin (ACA) typically supports the Congolese diaspora in the area, group members said they “were thinking about how to expand and try to do something more.” In December, they gathered at the airport to welcome a family from Venezuela. The ACA leader, Willie, said group members know how hard it is to be a refugee. “You leave your country where you had everything and move to a country where you have to sleep in a tent or sleep on the floor, sometimes outside, no water, no electricity. We saw really very, very painful experiences, and helping one refugee, you make a big difference in their life.” Many more Americans are also seeking to welcome newcomers. Niskanen Center said another 11,000 group applications to participate in the sponsorship program are currently pending. Read more here.


This upcoming Earth Day 2024 is an important reminder that the global climate crisis and migration are intertwined. While people migrate for a variety of reasons, such as family reunification or to escape gang violence, climate change and related environmental crises have also resulted in the forced displacement of many people, including to the U.S. We have seen this in recent migration from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. We also know some of their stories. Juan de León Gutiérrez, a migrant teen who died while in U.S. custody in 2019, had been forced to leave Guatemala after a severe drought devastated his village. The federal government has acknowledged the effects of climate change on migration in a historic 2021 report, which marked the first time the U.S. government officially reported on this link. While a pathway to citizenship is a critical component of modernizing our immigration system, the challenges of climate change must also be taken into account. “As the largest historical emitter of carbon emissions, the United States has a responsibility to address climate migration and acknowledge it as a form of adaptation,” wrote Diana Martinez Quintana, an immigration and climate justice advocate. Read more here.


Following the lead of Texas and its “show me your papers” SB4 law, multiple GOP-controlled states are enacting or seeking to enact their copycat versions of state anti-immigrant legislation. While the Texas and various state copycat laws purport to target undocumented immigrants, the impact would be felt well beyond the immigrant community should the laws navigate legal challenges. The outcome would include economic damage, civil rights violations, burdens on local law enforcement, and a dangerous balkanization of federal law as 25 or so “red states” enact their restrictive immigration, deportation, and border policies. Click here to view and share AV’s interactive map of different states considering such legislation.


Advocacy organizations are celebrating recent news that the Biden administration is extending and expanding Temporary Protected Status for Ethiopia, citing ongoing conditions that made it unsafe for Ethiopian nationals to return safely. Under this extension and redesignation, humanitarian relief, including deportation protections, will also be expanded to an estimated 12,800 additional Ethiopian nationals already here. In a statement, African Communities Together, Ethiopian Community Development Council, TPS-DED AAC, and Communities United for Status and Protection credited Ethiopian community members who have been fighting for this lifesaving win. “With the dire conditions in Ethiopia, the designation brings enormous relief, and we are grateful that the many Ethiopian citizens in the United States can continue to live out their lives freely without the fear of deportation,” said Kalyani Menon, TPS-DED AAC Coordinator. In a separate statement, Haitian Bridge Alliance’s Guerline Jozef commended the administration’s decision and said that an affected individual called her “with excitement about the possibility to renew his employment authorization, support his family and give back to his adopted community.” Read more here.