tags: , Press Releases

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

Share This:


The long-anticipated Biden executive actions to further restrict access to asylum were announced on Tuesday and came under near universal condemnation, both from the pro-immigrant advocacy movement and the far-right anti-immigration movement. At America’s Voice, we did not focus on the policy (there are detailed analyses from allies here, here, here, and elsewhere) but rather on the politics and the need for Biden to take more than just a restrictive stance. Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said: “Yes, our immigration system is broken, and yes, we need an orderly and safe border. However, the American public has made it clear they want a broader, commonsense set of solutions beyond the enforcement-only particulars of today’s executive order announcement.” And AV wants to emphasize the pivot to what more President Biden needs to do: “We look forward to the next steps for the Biden Administration that should go well beyond the border to broaden the focus to policies that support legal entry and legalize or provide temporary status to long-established and hard-working immigrants such as Dreamers, TPS holders, and mixed-status family members and spouses of U.S. citizens.” We also lifted up the many Members of Congress and others echoing the need for Biden to move beyond the border in his policies and continued that theme in this week’s AVES column below.


In her weekly column, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that President Biden’s new order “has the potential to alienate voters who have supported Biden and the Democrats” and are waiting for affirmative relief for their families and neighbors. “Especially because the measures issued by Biden are reminiscent of those taken by Trump when he was president. On top of being criticized by legislators and progressive groups, they were slowed and, in many cases, stopped in the courts,” Hastings writes. “That is why, in this space, we have reiterated that there should be a balance. And if, for political and electoral reasons, Biden believes it is necessary to issue an order of this type, he must know that the anti-immigrant sector he is trying to pacify will not support him at any rate.” She writes that the base, including Latino voters, needs action to excite them and get them to the polls. She points to former President Obama’s DACA announcement ahead of the 2012 election, which would subsequently protect hundreds of thousands of Dreamers. “Some positive migration measure that benefits certain sectors of undocumented people is a good strategy to mobilize voters.” Her column was also published in several outlets, including La Opinión, Radio Bilingüe, and HispanicLA. Read her column in English here and in Spanish here.


Last week, Trump became the first U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes, after a jury of his peers found him guilty of  34 charges of repeatedly falsifying business records as part of his scheme to influence the 2016 election. Our immediate reaction: we told you so. As AV reported on Monday, “a similar pattern of falsifying business records and payments to cover up illegal activity also describes Trump and the Trump Organization’s treatment of undocumented employees, as America’s Voice warned years ago.” AV Legal Advisor David Leopold worked with Trump organization employees and their lawyers – and reporters – to describe the “multi-state criminal conspiracy made all the more galling by the reality that Donald Trump exploits and attacks immigrants for his political benefit at the same time he exploits and relies on immigrants for his own personal economic benefit. Donald Trump’s criminality, coupled with his rabid contempt for the rule of law, threatens all Americans.” Read more here.


In his first post-conviction rally speech, Trump drove home the core theme of his 2024 election campaign – peddling dangerous anti-immigrant lies and conspiracies used to sow doubts about the legitimacy of our democratic process and to justify his pledge for unsparing mass deportations of long-settled immigrants in a Trump second term, all while deflecting attention on his own criminality. Trump’s Arizona event – hosted by Turning Points USA, which also has a well-documented history of racism and white nationalism – revisited his usual offensive themes and pledges, including his promise to mass purge the nation of millions of immigrants, dangerous lies linked to deadly violence, and using immigrants to lay the groundwork for a larger anti-democratic push. “Yes, Trump’s dystopian and apocalyptic immigration focus is nothing new, but we mustn’t let that obscure to steady radicalization that makes the threat that much more acute,” said Cárdenas. “We need to understand the stakes and take the consequences seriously and go beyond fact-checking to understand the larger motivations and implications of what we keep witnessing.” Read more here.


South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is the latest formerly pro-immigrant Republican to endorse the full scope of Trump’s mass purging of millions of immigrants. Graham, a cosponsor of the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform package and a cosponsor of the Dream Act as recently as last year, claimed to Fox News this week that “the only policy change that will work is to have mass deportations. Because people will stop coming when they see people leaving.” Graham’s devolution mirrors that of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who in May also embraced Trump’s unsparing mass deportation pledge after having expressed past opposition to the concept. “You’re not going to get 11 million people out of this country,” Graham previously claimed. “That’s just not practical, that’s going to kill the Republican Party. It’s self-deportation on steroids.” Now he’s endorsing deporting those same Dreamers and families he once supposedly championed. “It is deeply disappointing and heartbreaking that Senators Graham and Rubio are now targeting those they used to fight for,” Cárdenas said. “Ahead of the DACA anniversary week, it’s a reminder of the descent of the GOP and a reminder of what’s at stake this year.” Read more here.


Arizona Republicans have passed a Texas-style proposal that, if approved by voters in November, will endanger immigrant communities and U.S. citizens alike by allowing local police to act as federal immigration agents. “Today is a sad day for Arizona,” responded Reyna Montoya, a DACA recipient and founder of Aliento. She noted that HCR 2060 “does not solve problems but creates new ones.” Long-settled immigrants could be separated from their loved ones while U.S. citizens of color will be at risk of racial profiling by police. Remember when disgraced former sheriff Joe Arpaio was in power? One expert found that his department in Maricopa County carried out the “most egregious racial profiling in the United States that he has ever personally seen in the course of his work.” This law could also make communities less safe for all. “How many robberies and other crimes in local communities will now go uninvestigated, how many crimes will go unreported by immigrants and Latinos who will be too scared to trust law enforcement to protect them,” asked state Rep. Judy Schwiebert (D-Phoenix). “There are 140,000 U.S. citizen children under 18 that live with at least one undocumented parent,” Montoya continued. “When we think of this type of policy, we must consider the children of U.S. citizens who may be impacted by this. This will hurt Arizona families.” Read more from Aliento here.


June marks the annual Immigrant Heritage Month, a time for our nation to honor, celebrate, and uplift the stories of immigrants and their communities. In multiple states, events and reporting have highlighted immigrants’ accomplishments, contributions, and the unique place they hold in the story of America. Two immigrant entrepreneurs in San Francisco have been celebrated for opening the Bay Area’s first K-pop store. “It’s a way of connecting and creating a community,” one of the business owners said. The two embody immigrants’ entrepreneurial spirit: immigrant business owners make up nearly 22% of all business owners despite making up just over 13.6% of the population. This week, members of Congress also took to the House floor to uplift the stories of immigrant constituents. Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) highlighted the story of Maria Barahona, an SEIU member, Temporary Protected Status holder, and home care worker. She assists two senior citizens, including a disabled U.S. military veteran. “TPS gives Maria the ability to work and care for her community,” Rep. Gomez said. “Her story is not just one of personal triumph, but a testament to the invaluable impact of immigrants to our nation.” Read more here.


A new op-ed penned by AV Director of Communication Ivonne Rodriguez and printed in El Diario highlights the potential damage to New York under Trump’s mass deportation plan. It’s not just rhetoric, Rodriguez warns. “Living in New York as an immigrant from Honduras in a mixed-status family, I know Trump is talking about deploying the military to my community.” But GOP members of Congress, like Elise Stefanik and Mike Lawler, must also say where they stand on a red state army of local law enforcement and National Guard troops sweeping their districts. Read Rodriguez’s op-ed in Spanish here, in English here, and then click here to share.


Vermont has joined the slate of states giving young people, regardless of immigration status, a fairer shot at achieving their higher education goals. “Education Equity for Immigrant Students” ensures that Vermont residents, including Dreamers, access in-state tuition rates and need-based financial aid at public colleges and universities. The bill was initiated by Migrant Justice and boosted by state and community colleges, immigrant community members, and impacted individuals who recently rallied at the statehouse to urge the governor to sign the bill. It’ll be life-changing for young Vermonters like dairy worker Olga Cruz. “When I got my GED three years ago and looked into continuing my studies, I was shocked by the cost and knew I would never be able to afford college without help,” she said. “With this new law, higher education becomes a possibility for me and many others.” While Vermont’s immigrant population is small, their work has been and remains critical to the state’s dairy industry. “Nobody took a break from milking cows during COVID,” Migrant Justice’s Will Lambek said in March. “They worked through putting their health and their lives at risk. And if their work is deemed essential, then their rights should be deemed essential as well.” It’s a much-deserved win for Migrant Justice, advocates, and students. Read more here.



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