Washington, DC – America’s antiquated immigration system restricts our economic potential, limits the opportunities and contributions of immigrants, prevents those seeking safety and liberty from entering the US and hinders our positioning in a globalized world. Yet, while in office, Republicans dismantled much of our immigration system and Republicans continue obstructing legislation that would modernize our immigration laws and continue their hostility to reforms that would create a functional and responsive asylum and refugee system. This means that Democrats are forced to deliver on progress by themselves.
Increasingly, key Democratic voices are calling on the Biden administration to rely on executive actions to deliver this important progress. While legislation is needed to fix much of what is wrong with our immigration system, executive action is the most direct path to meaningful immigration policy breakthroughs that change lives and advance our interests right now. And taking decisive action will benefit Democrats’ political positioning ahead of the midterms.
This week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) issued new recommendations for executive action. Featured prominently were a range of immigration policy reforms, including the continued use of TPS designations or redesignations for Haiti, Cameroon, and a host of other countries, including those in Africa and Central America. Meanwhile, as The Hill reports, Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) are ramping up pressure on the Biden administration to “stop deporting and expelling people to Haiti,” echoing some of the CPC recommendations for enforcement reform and the rescinding of Title 42. These voices follow yesterday’s TPS designation for Afghanistan, which we called “welcome news” that President Biden should build on to “deliver important progress and protections, first for Cameroon and then for additional countries in Africa and Central America.”
As we explored in detail last week, addressing immigration head-on is the right policy and the right political course for Democrats. It will energize disillusioned Democratic base voters and draw sharp contrasts with Republicans in a manner that appeals to swing voters, while offering a reminder that delivering on breakthroughs that change lives and strengthen the country is always good politics.
According to Vanessa Cardenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Avoidance is not a strategy. Republicans are running on immigration, xenophobia and isolationism and that is a fact. Democrats need to confront the issue head-on and forcefully articulate their values and their vision to modernize an outdated and broken immigration system. This includes initiating meaningful policy breakthroughs via executive action. Republican cruelty, obstruction, and their embrace of nationalism and authoritarians across the world has contributed to our inability to admit asylum seekers from Ukraine and elsewhere, which frustrates American voters. Democrats should be confident in their vision of an America as an inclusive democracy, where safety and security reign and where immigrants and refugees have a place at the table building a stronger nation.