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Ahead of Trump’s Speech, Rep. Gallego, Policy and Legal Experts Outline All There Is to Know About Immigration Policy and Politics

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Today, Rep. Gallego joined policy and legal experts, immigration reform advocates, and community leaders to discuss immigration policy and politics and to analyze Donald Trump’s various immigration policiesahead of Trump’s immigration focused speech in Arizona tomorrow. For additional information on the policy behind real immigration reform, see AILA’s new backgrounder.

A recording of today’s call is available here. 

Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), said “Donald Trump is coming to Arizona tomorrow, because he knows the state is quickly slipping away from him and every other Republican on the ballot. Arizona is rejecting Trump’s hate speech and seeing through his total lack of knowledge about immigration or any other policy.”

Alejandra Gomez, Board Member of People United for Justice, said “Trump represents everything we are against. His campaign is rooted in the same racism, hate, and extremism that we fought against in 2010 with Arizona SB 1070, the racial profiling law. We do not need a repeat of those harsh years when our families’ homes were raided and when we saw their faces pressed up against glass windows on a bus that would take them away forever. We will not be fooled by Trump’s rhetoric tomorrow. Let us be very clear—a presidency under Trump means that he will deport my family. He will deport the people who are the fabric of Arizona. LUCHA and immigrants in Arizona have worked hard to paint the path forward. We have launched our voter registration drive, and we are taking direct action against anti-immigrant politicians to make sure that they remember our faces and our stories.”

Nick Gourevitch, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Global Strategy Group, said “Despite the narrative that Trump’s immigration stance is an attempt to appeal to white voters, in reality he is only appealing to a very small portion of Republican voters. Across the board, there is strong opposition to Trump’s policies among battleground voters: 66% oppose Trump’s mass deportation plan; 65% oppose his plan to revoke citizenship from children of undocumented immigrants; 55% oppose his ban on Muslims; and 54% oppose building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policy positions will cause problems for Trump, down ballot candidates, and the GOP.”

Ben Johnson, Executive Director of American Immigration Lawyers Association, said “Trump has yet to offer anything that even approaches a clear plan, but he has hinted at shifting his positions away from mass deportation towards attrition through enforcement. Let me be clear, the only difference between mass deportation and self-deportation is spin. Under either ‘policy,’ there is only one option for the 11 million undocumented immigrants – leave. Any conversation about immigration reform must begin with the recognition that reform requires legislation.  Our current laws are the source of the problem, not the solution.”

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said “Trump is throwing voters a head fake. He is changing the packaging but not the thrust of his policy, which is to drive millions of undocumented immigrants out of the country. Whether it’s called mass deportation or self-deportation, the intended outcome is the same: undocumented immigrants, who are deeply rooted in America, have to leave the country that they now call home. If Trump and his team were truly interested in a policy shift, not just a rhetorical shift, they would be promising legislation that would create a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. – in other words, a line to get into here in America. In addition, telling them to go home and apply legally to re-enter the U.S. is a cruel hoax – there is no line for them to get into in their country of origin either.”

A recording of today’s call is available here.

For additional information on the policy behind real immigration reform, see AILA’s new backgrounder.