Washington, DC – It’s been a week of positive momentum for immigration and the goal of citizenship for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and other essential immigrant workers. The Biden White House and leading Democrats are leaning in; the immigration movement is gearing up; the American people, including Latino voters and swing state voters, are ready to support and credit Democrats for a breakthrough, as fresh polling reminds us; and Republicans are showing their hand and making it clearer than ever that the way forward won’t be through bipartisan negotiations but through Democrats using their majority to deliver.
See below for key developments underscoring the above points:
- White House leaning in: DACA recipients to meet with President Biden in Oval Office today: Yesterday, NBC News broke the news that President Joe Biden will host six DACA recipients in the Oval Office this afternoon as “his administration signals his immigration reform plan remains a legislative priority … The individuals Biden will meet Friday underscore the administration’s argument for enshrining that executive action into law, highlighting essential workers in fields like education, agriculture and health care.”
- Leading Democrats leaning in: Senator Padilla and CHC make the case for essential immigrant workers: On Wednesday, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) chaired a hearing, “The Essential Role of Immigrant Workers in America,” in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety. Check out his powerful video making the case for why America should say thank you to essential workers through a path to citizenship and the numerous statements of support from advocates nationwide. Meanwhile, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) officially endorsed the essential workers citizenship bill this week.
- Movement gearing up: Hill virtual lobby day next Tuesday hosted by the We Are Home campaign to feature hundreds of essential workers, advocates and allies. Next Tuesday, there will be more than 90 groups participating in a virtual fly-in, with more than 60 meetings scheduled with Members of Congress and staff in both Houses of Congress throughout the day pushing Democrats to include a path to citizenship in any reconciliation packages that move; a Citizenship for Essential Workers virtual luncheon at 12 noon ET with key Democratic and movement leaders; and a virtual rally at 6 PM ET featuring impacted individuals, allies, advocates and maybe even a celebrity or two!
- American people ready for a breakthrough: Latino voter and swing state polling underscores overwhelming popularity of immigration reform and electoral stakes for Democrats to deliver on the issue.
- Battleground polling of Latino voters underscores why Democrats need to use their majority to deliver on immigration reform this year. The polling, conducted by Barreto Segura Partners (BSP Research) and EquisLabs on behalf of The Immigration Hub and UnidosUS Action Fund, found 80-plus percent support for a range of pro-immigrant policies and underscored that Democrats will get big credit for delivering on citizenship, but big blame if they don’t. “When asked who would deserve blame if immigration reform does NOT pass this year, Latinos are equally split with 30% blaming Biden/Democrats, 31% blaming Republicans and 40% blaming both parties equally … However, if immigration reform does pass, the poll finds that Democrats “emerge with a +47 margin with 57% crediting Biden/Dems to only 10% crediting the GOP.”
- Meanwhile, separate immigration polling from Data for Progress in ten key states released this week finds an overwhelming bipartisan majority in favor of citizenship for Dreamers, TPS-holders, farmworkers and other essential workers.
- Republicans show their hand: GOP says “snowball’s chance in hell” of bipartisan breakthrough, so Democrats need to deliver on their own. Republicans are not negotiating in good faith on immigration – they don’t want a policy breakthrough this year, they want a political issue for next year. Thankfully, they are making their intentions very clear. As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said this week of the prospects of delivering legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship, “I don’t think they’re going to have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing that given the massive influx at the border. There’ll be no immigration reform until you get control of the border.” See here for other GOP assessments in a similar vein. The lesson for Democrats is clear: move forward now and don’t expect anything but delay and attempts to derail from the GOP.
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice, “This was a big week of building momentum and popular support on immigration that moved us into the next stage of the debate. The writing is on the wall that Republicans won’t get to ‘yes,’ so Democrats are readying to use their majority to deliver on long-overdue reforms. Thankfully, this week demonstrated that the Biden White House and congressional Democrats are feeling confident and sure-footed as the debate centers on citizenship – an overwhelmingly popular position with the American public and Latino voters in particular. Democrats are prepared to use their majority to deliver citizenship and to change lives and strengthen the country in the process, and there is much more to come.”