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Americans Reject Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Vision, Stand up for a Welcoming America

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While we join most observers in recoiling from President Trump’s unhinged speech in Phoenix last night, a range of developments from around the country reminds us that Americans are standing up to his divisive vision for the country and rejecting his dark view of immigration and immigrants.

Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to sign the pro-immigrant and pro-public safety Trust Act:Yesterday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced that he would sign the Illinois Trust Act next week – legislation that, as he recently noted, is “supported by law enforcement, it’s supported by the business community, it’s supported by the immigration community.” The legislation will ensure that law enforcement throughout Illinois do not become de facto immigration enforcement agents, as the Trump Administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are trying to force states and jurisdictions to become. In an editorial praising Gov. Rauner’s decision, the Chicago Tribune calls the Trust Act “a smart move for Illinois,” noting that the legislation “will make our communities safer and our economy stronger” and “would give immigrants some peace of mind as they go about their lives — working, shopping, paying taxes and contributing to their communities” and “would promote trust between immigrants and police.”

“A non-starter” – Democrats scuttle notion of using Dreamers’ status as legislative bargaining chip to advance far right’s immigration agenda: After Anita Kumar of McClatchy reported that some in the White House wanted to trade legislation addressing Dreamers’ status for a range of policies from the anti-immigrant movement’s wishlist, Democrats made it clear yesterday that the idea was “a non-starter,” as Senator Dick Durbin phrased. We noted yesterday that Democrats have the leverage in this potential debate and it was heartening to see Democrats issue such swift and widespread condemnation of the floated idea (see a good recap from Elise Foley of HuffPost of lawmakers nixing the idea of using Dreamers as bargaining chips).

House Republicans send letter to President Trump urging him to keep DACA in place: Six House Republicans, Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadao of California; Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida; Don Bacon of Nebraska; and Dan Donovan of New York, issued a new letter to President Trump urging him to keep the popular and successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for Dreamers in place. The letter notes, “It is in the best interest of our nation to continue DACA until we can pass a permanent legislative solution…”

Tallahassee, FL latest city to host “Dreamer Dinner”: Following earlier Dreamer Dinners in Columbus, OHMiami, FLSan Antonio, TX; and Los Angeles, CA; Tallahassee, FL hosted a successful Dreamer Dinner last night that featured Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum; Florida State University Professor and immigration attorney Terry Coonan; and the following local DACA recipients and Dreamers: Daniela Donoso, who led the student group Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights during her time at FSU and won the 2015 Global Citizen Award; Maria Juliana Rodriguez, who has lived in the US since she was five and hopes to attend law school in Washington, DC in order to pursue her interest in human rights and social justice; Maria del Pilar Rodriguez., who is currently an undergrad at FSU and hopes to pursue a career in dentistry and work with Doctors Without Borders; Juan Rodriguez, who is studying political science at FSU with the dream of one day holding public office; and Juan Escalante, who is Digital Campaigns Manager at America’s Voice. See here for a detailed recap with photos.

Judicial Branch continues to serve as a backstop to Trump Deportation Force’s disregard for the law: While the case is far from over, at a hearing yesterday in San Diego Judge Gonzalo Curiel noted that, per Alan Gomez of USA Today, “he was preparing to order the Trump administration to return the first known DREAMer it deported back to the United States to make his case for staying.” As Juan Manuel Montes’s attorney Nora Preciado of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) stated, “When he was unlawfully expelled, the federal government not only broke its promise to Juan, they also violated his constitutional rights. We’re here in court today because Juan Manuel should be at home with his community, not by himself in Mexico.”

Longtime Arizona organizers of successful campaign to oust Joe Arpaio lead opposition to Trump’s speech and potential Arpaio pardon: Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s defeat at the ballot box and in federal court followed years of courage and organizing from the community on the ground in Arizona. Many of these same leaders and organizations also led the opposition to Trump’s Phoenix speech and the notion of a potential pardon of Joe Arpaio. Of note, Arizonans strongly oppose a potential pardon of Arpaio, with a recent poll pegging half of the state opposed to a pardon compared to only 21% in favor of a pardon.

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, said:

As President Trump continues to demonstrate that he is unfit for the presidency, the American people continue to demonstrate their opposition to his extremist immigration rhetoric and actions.  By standing up for the 4th amendment and common sense immigration policies, and standing up against racism and hate, we are protecting real American values even as the President tries to undermine them.