tags: , Press Releases

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

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This week, President Biden announced a plan to use his authority to protect roughly half a million spouses of U.S. citizens, including eligible DACA recipients, from deportation and provide them with access to work authorization and a possible path to permanent residency and citizenship. This decision results from decades of advocacy by immigrants and their allies in national, state, and local organizations. AV released several products to mark the announcement, including a joint release with the leaders of United We Dream, CASA in Action, Make the Road New York, FWD.us, Poder Latinx, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic, National Immigration Law Center, and Living United for Change in Arizona, a stand-alone release, a social media toolkit, a memo on combating opposition narratives, and a TikTok explainer with AV legal advisor David Leopold. “Today’s decisive action by President Biden is a victory for American families, our economy, and our country. This would not have been possible without the tireless organizing and advocacy of immigrant communities and impacted individuals,” responded AV Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas. “Hundreds of thousands of husbands, wives, and children can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing they are one step closer to becoming citizens of the country they have long called home. We commend President Biden for taking this much-needed step to ensure that American families stay together.” Read more here. 


Right on cue, opponents of immigration have ratcheted up their lies and distortions to attack President Biden’s announcement, making false attacks of “amnesty,” amplifying the white nationalist replacement theory and fear-mongering about “open borders” and myths of “migrant crime” to distract from their plan to separate American families by targeting these same individuals for mass deportation. It clarifies the stakes on immigration for this election season. Donald Trump and his allies are proposing separating families, mass roundups, and unsparing deportations for long-settled immigrant populations. “Biden’s new move highlights that many of those people are deeply connected to U.S. communities and to countless American families,” The New Republic’s Greg Sargent writes in his must-read analysis. “These real people are harder to demagogue, so Republicans are shouting: Look over there at the border instead!” Sargent continues: “Biden needs to make this about something larger than the border—about immigration as a positive good for the country—while pitting his humane treatment of undocumented migrants living here or seeking alternative pathways to entry against Trump’s threat to inflict extraordinary cruelty, disruption, and suffering via mass removal of millions.” Read more here.


In her weekly column, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that President Biden’s immigration order “is a light at the end of a long tunnel for a segment of the millions of people without documents, who have been waiting decades for immigration relief.” Many of these families, she writes, have lived in the U.S. for an average of 23 years, have hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children, contribute to the economy, and are deeply embedded in their communities. “The announcement also seeks to alleviate the disgruntlement generated among immigrants advocates by another order issued by Biden some weeks ago, to close the border to people seeking asylum when the numbers of irregular border crossings rise above 2,500 daily for a week,” Hastings continues. “Many hope that the order will have the same effect of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Barack Obama issued in 2012 in the middle of his reelection campaign, at a time when his record number of deportations had disenchanted many Latino voters … And although its political effect will be known on Election Day, the order allows Biden and the Democrats to outline clear contrasts with Trump and the Republicans, who want to impose a macabre plan for mass deportations, not only at the border but also the interior of the country, and detention camps that sound more like concentration camps.” 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.


During an appearance airing yesterday on a tech podcast, Trump endorsed providing green cards for all foreign college students, stating: “You graduate from a college, I think you should get automatically as part of your diploma a green card to be able to stay in this country and that includes junior colleges too … people graduated from a top college or from a college, and they desperately wanted to stay here, they had a plan for a company, a concept, and they can’t.” Color us skeptical, because this is a man campaigning on deporting millions. Sure enough, his campaign already began to walk it back in a response tinged with racist dog-whistles. Douglas Rivlin, Senior Director of Communication for AV, responded: “While Donald Trump’s off the cuff comments on a tech podcast were surprising, they fly in the face of his and his campaign’s continued pledges to conduct unsparing mass deportations and restrict legal immigration pathways. His previous record of seeking to end DACA and make Dreamer college grads deportable, restricting student visas, and slashing legal immigration levels make these comments hard to believe.” Read more here.


During World Refugee Day this week, it’s vital to remember that the need to welcome with dignity has never been more urgent. Recent data from UNHCR reveals that “the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide has risen to an unprecedented 120 million.” While the Biden administration has made important strides in rebuilding the U.S. refugee program, resettlement agencies and communities remain in need of support in order to continue welcoming refugees seeking to start new lives here. Click here to retweet and share our World Refugee Day tweet.


We can’t forget the human impact of this week’s announcement and the difference it’ll make in the everyday lives of countless American families all across the nation. Ashley DeAzevedo, head of American Families United, tells The New York Times that President Biden’s plan is a game-changer for her and her loved ones. Her husband is undocumented, and because of his immigration status, there’s constant worry that driving for everyday tasks like work, school, or the doctor’s office could lead to him being stopped and their family being torn apart. “There’s always a concern if he gets pulled over or anything like that,” she said. “It could be, you know, just catastrophic for our family.” President Biden’s announcement would also provide relief to people like Monica Sandoval, a DACA recipient, emergency room nurse, and mom of two U.S. citizens. While she’s currently protected by the program, it’s remained under threat due to GOP litigation. “She hoped the new process would allow her employer, a regional hospital, to sponsor her for a work visa and then a green card,” The New York Times reported. “This would be life-changing for me,” Sandoval said. “It would bring security to me and my kids, and I’d know for sure that I could keep doing the work I love to do.” Read more here.

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