tags: , Press Releases

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

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The New Yorker magazine published a must-read piece this week by Stephania Taladrid on the anti-immigrant movement’s descent down the white nationalist rabbit hole. “The Legacy of the El Paso Shooting” highlights tracking research by America’s Voice on elected leaders’ use of white nationalist lies, including the “great replacement” conspiracy theory and “invasion” rhetoric, in order to stir up anti-immigrant hate. The New Yorker piece further details how the deadly saw blade buoys deployed by Texas in the Rio Grande are a natural – and horrifying – extension of the dehumanizing rhetoric of political leaders. This type of language has led to violence, echoed by the El Paso mass murderer who killed 23 and injured another 22 at an El Paso Walmart in 2019. Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX), a frequent critic of this rhetoric, also led a delegation of House Democrats to Eagle Pass, Texas, to focus on the cruelty of Gov. Greg Abbott and the likely illegal Operation Lone Star. “Clothing stuck on razor wire where families got trapped. Chainsaw devices in the middle of buoys. Land seized from US citizens,” Castro said. “Operation Lone Star is barbaric — and @GovAbbott is making border communities collateral damage.”


In a pair of releases this week, AV noted the disturbing shift from cruelty to violence in the right’s approach to immigration, horrifically embodied by the words and actions of Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis. Abbott has unlawfully placed his deadly saw blade-laced buoys in the Rio Grande, while DeSantis has doubled down on explicit calls for deadly violence at the southern border. It has become a disturbing applause line for the latter. This horrific approach is an outgrowth of much of the GOP embracing the false and deadly white nationalist “invasion” conspiracy, with both governors citing it in their defense of deadly violence towards non-white migrants. When elected leaders dehumanize people this way, “they court violence because the way you stop ‘invaders,’ is with deadly force,” Political Director Zachary Mueller said. Read the Abbott release here, and the DeSantis release here.


In their weekly column, America’s Voice En Español Director Maribel Hastings and Spanish-language Advisor David Torres said that Texas’ installation of a barrier in the Rio Grande is basically an act of sadism. These orange buoys are not just floating balls of plastic. “They are wrapped in metal, and between each buoy there’s a piece of sharp metal that resembles a saw blade; not to mention the razor wire that adorns the shore of the Río Grande on the Texas side.” Hastings and Torres continued: “It seems that anti-immigrant people like Abbott and his followers, who continue to use the language of racism and intolerance, don’t understand that the only thing stronger than the materials used to make their deadly traps, is the determination of migrants to keep their families safe, at any cost.” Their column was also published by outlets including La OpiniónLatinos in the Midwest, and El Tiempo LatinoRead their column in English here and in Spanish here.


Former President Donald Trump was recently indicted by yet another grand jury, this time on federal charges related to his role in the January 6 insurrection. While we’re still unclear if former senior advisor and anti-immigrant zealot Stephen Miller is among the six unnamed co-conspirators mentioned in Jack Smith’s 45-page indictment, we do know that he publicly pushed to seat fraudulent, pro-Trump electors despite the fact that Joe Biden had already secured enough electoral votes to make him the next president. The hare-brained scheme was so outlandish that no one from Trump world wanted to endorse it. That is, except Miller, who publicly pushed the plan on Fox News. Miller arguing for the seating of fraudulent electors is rich, considering how often he accused migrants of faking their asylum claims. Read more here.


The latest Voices from the Frontlines installation celebrated the recent implementation of Massachusetts law that makes roads safer and helps keep families together by opening driver’s licenses to eligible undocumented residents. Officials have estimated that 280,000 individuals in the commonwealth will apply under the law in its first four years of implementation, allowing them to drive to work, get their children to school, and keep up with doctor’s visits. The Brazilian Worker Center is among organizations that tirelessly championed the law, first in the legislature, and then during the 2022 midterms, when opponents unsuccessfully sought its repeal. Executive Director Lenita Reason joined AV Campaigns Director Mario Carrillo to discuss the law and what it means for local families. Watch the full interview here.


Anti-immigrant sentiment is ugly – and costly, as Texas’ governor continues to show. Greg Abbott has wasted billions in taxpayer funds on ineffective, wildly inhumane, and wildly expensive border operations. The combined total? $5.5 billion so far. The priciest scheme has been Operation Lone Star, which has wasted over $4 billion since 2021. This isn’t going to fix our broken immigration system. Click below to share our tweet calling out Abbott’s wasteful spending and urging real solutions. 


As noted by Politico’s Playbook tip sheet: “America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund are adding Joe Liu as managing director of America’s Voice Education Fund and Kenny Sandoval as senior adviser to the executive director. Liu previously was director of campaign strategy and management at AARP. Sandoval previously was VP for campaigns and partnerships at Voto Latino.” A press release on the new senior staffers went out this week. Read more about Kenny Sandoval here and Joe Liu here.


This summer marks five years since a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all children ripped from their parents under the family separation policy. But five years later, hundreds of families remain separated as many who have been reunited continue to struggle from the policy’s traumatic effects. Their stories and the effects of this policy cannot be forgotten. The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) has created a digital archive sharing first-person accounts, drawings, and interviews from ASAP members who were affected by the policy. Click here to access the Justice for Separated Families digital archive and read families’ stories in their own words.

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