tags: , Press Releases

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

Share This:


On Friday, America’s Voice wrapped up a strong couple of weeks for pro-immigrant advocates who showed up to push President Biden and Democrats to take action to protect immigrants. Beginning last week with the TPS convening and May Day action anchored by CASA, the momentum carried through this week, especially in a series of events on Wednesday. On the Senate side, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing where advocates and Dreamers called for permanent protections for immigrant youth both with and without DACA, despite the efforts of some Senators to turn it into a hearing about campus protests. In the “House Triangle,” the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Haitian Caucus, and allies staged a well-attended press conference calling for TPS redesignation and protection for people fleeing Haiti’s security crisis. Six powerful women from the CBC joined Guerline Jozef of the Haitian Bridge Alliance and other key leaders for a forceful and persuasive call to protect the honor and dignity of the Haitian people. Across the Hill at the “Senate Swamp,” Senator Alex Padilla, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Nanette Barragán, Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, and an array of Senators joined advocates from FWD.us and other national organizations to call for executive action to protect immigrants and allow them to work. Overall, the push for concrete actions to protect a wide range of different immigrants is gaining momentum. Read more here.


During a virtual briefing event on Monday, immigration experts and analysts from the Cato Institute, Niskanen Center, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association joined with AV to discuss the details and far-reaching implications of a Trump second term agenda on immigration – from Trump’s mass deportation pledges to the sweeping array of immigration proposals contained in the Heritage Foundation’s allied Project 2025. Angela Kelley, Senior Advisor for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, moderated the discussion and noted, “The roadmap for a second Trump term isn’t hard to follow, nor is it in pencil. It’s in Sharpie, and its consequences will cause indelible damage.” Zachary Mueller, Senior Director of Research at AV, highlighted how Trump and his allies are weaponizing immigration lies and conspiracies on the campaign trail and its relationship to political violence and democratic legitimacy. In his remarks, David Bier, Director of Immigration Studies at the Cato Institute, noted the vast damage Trump’s policies could inflict, from obliterating our legal immigration system, undermining the rule of law, and sowing chaos at the border and the interior. “America needs real immigration reform, not mass deportation fantasies,” he said. Read more here.


This week marked six years since Donald Trump’s attorney general, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, stepped in front of the press to announce that it would be the official policy of the U.S. to tear children, including nursing infants and toddlers, from the arms of asylum-seeking parents. It would mark one of the darkest days in modern U.S. history. According to court documents, more than 5,500 kids were stolen under Trump’s presidency, and roughly 1,400 remain separated to this very day. Trump now pledges to go even further if he wins in November, including launching a “red state” army to round up and purge millions of workers from their homes, communities, and workplaces. These stakes were noted in a new ad from the Biden campaign, which not only offered a powerful indictment and reminder of the horrors of the family separation policy but connected to the extremism and dangers of a second Trump term on immigration. “Donald Trump’s family separation policy generated national and international outrage, including bipartisan condemnation and a collective pledge that our nation was better than this,” said AV Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas. “Unfortunately, instead of leaving that dark chapter of our recent history in the past, Trump is now promising to go further in a potential second term.” Read more from our statement here, and our deeper dive into the inhumane separation policy here.


First things first: widespread noncitizen voting is not a real thing, plain and simple. Yet Trump and his GOP allies have intentionally been pushing dangerous immigration-related lies, conspiracies, and falsehoods in order to sow doubt in the integrity of our electoral process should the November election not go their way. This was on display starkly this week when Speaker Mike Johnson, Stephen Miller, and other GOP allies took to the Capitol steps – once the site of an anti-democratic riot inspired by Republican lies – to call for policies to curtail voting using the non-existent boogeyman of non-citizens voting as the excuse. Their claims are bogus, but also can’t be ignored. Adding to his extremist streak, Johnson also endorsed Trump’s plan to purge millions of immigrants from the nation. “Lies about non-citizen voting and elevating the white nationalist and antisemitic replacement conspiracy set the groundwork for delegitimizing our election outcomes, creating divisions, and encouraging political violence,” said Cárdenas. “It is irresponsible for Speaker Johnson to stand with key architects of Trump’s insurrection to try to claim the high ground on defending democracy.” Read more here.


In her weekly column, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that Trump’s pledge to round up and purge millions of workers would be a humanitarian and economic disaster from coast to coast. Hastings writes that during AV’s virtual discussion this week, Cato Institute’s David Bier indicated that this deportation campaign did not materialize in Trump’s first term “because Congress held them in check.” But Trump and his allies have spent the last several years scheming how to overcome those constraints. It would be devastating on multiple fronts, Bier said. “The impact is huge because a 100 percent of labor force growth right now is coming from immigrants … The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this recent surge in immigration is going to increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by $7 trillion dollars over the next decade. It’s gonna increase tax revenues by a trillion dollars,” he said. “Trump’s mass deportation dream is a humanitarian and economic nightmare for the United States,” Hastings concludes. Her column was also published in several outlets, including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe, and La Tribuna HispanaRead her column in English here and in Spanish here.


Dreamers and advocates offered powerful testimonials during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week highlighting the importance of DACA and the continued need to pass permanent relief. Mitchell Soto-Rodriguez, the first DACA recipient to be sworn in as a police officer in Illinois’ Blue Island community, testified that while the program has allowed her to pursue her professional dreams in law enforcement, she described her life before DACA as “incredibly difficult,” including being denied a driver’s license and being afraid to call the police after a car struck her and her family. “Having DACA allows us to become successful in life and to make a difference in the country that has seen us grow up,” she told lawmakers. But, current challenges regarding the program have left many in limbo. Gabriela “Gaby” Pacheco, a former Dreamer and president of Dream.US, said that while the national scholarship fund welcomed its largest cohort yet of scholars, most of them lack DACA protections, “largely due to ongoing legal challenges that have barred new applicants into the program.” Prior to the hearing, more than 1,600 Dream.US scholars and alumni penned a letter urging Congress to act. “Without access to permanent legal status, we face daily insecurity that undermines our attempts to establish ourselves as entrepreneurial members of our communities,” they wrote. Read more here.


The Trump administration’s family separation policy was a traumatic and ineffective policy that left a stain on our national values and must never be forgotten. Nor is it over. Despite the Biden administration’s efforts to reunite families, more than 1,400 remain separated due to the Trump administration’s cruelty and incompetence. Click here to share our graphic and to commit to continue fighting for justice for these families.


Congressional lawmakers and advocates held a press event on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to continue urging for a number of humanitarian actions for Haitian immigrants, including the extension and expansion of TPS. Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Yvette D. Clarke and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, along with Reps. Cori Bush, Frederica Wilson, Barbara Lee stood alongside Haitian Bridge Alliance, National Haitian American Elected Officials Network, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and UndocuBlack Network to urge the Biden administration to quickly act on relief for Haiti, which is currently in deep unrest and without a functional government. The speakers were joined by community leaders and supporters, including a contingent from CASA, from the Refugee Council USA, and many other allies. “It’s urgent for President Biden to re-designate and extend TPS for Haiti,” Haitian Bridge Alliance Executive Director Guerline Jozef said. Among a number of actions urged by lawmakers and advocates is a halt to deportation flights. Keep in mind that the U.S. State Department has issued an alert urging U.S. citizens to not travel to the small country. ”It is cruel to deport Haitian nationals while arranging for evacuation of American nationals at the same time,” said UndocuBlack Executive Director Patrice Lawrence. “Our ask is simple, honor the dignity of Haitian people.” Read more here.

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