President Biden and Democrats are going big, delivering results, and changing lives. Meanwhile, Republicans are stoking fear and furiously trying to distract from the Democrats’ successes and to scuttle progress by deploying strategic racism.
As Biden signs the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 package into law and charts an ambitious schedule for vaccine delivery, Democrats are moving forward on infrastructure, democracy reform, policing reform and immigration reform. Next week, the House will take up bills for Dreamers, TPS holders and farm workers. The common thread? Democrats using their power to improve people’s lives.
By contrast, Republicans have mostly given up addressing the real and demonstrated threats facing America. From COVID-19 to the January 6th armed insurrection at the Capitol to voting rights and more, the GOP is focused on Dr. Seuss, coddling Q-Anon adjacent members of Congress, and stoking fears that an uptick in non-white refugee children is an existential threat to America.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) heads to the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday to declare the admission of unaccompanied children seeking safety from violence a “crisis,” and to pin it all on Biden’s policies. Neither is true (see here for a visual presentation from Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council on recent data on border apprehensions for a reminder of the trends that pre-date Biden).
Republican allies are going further. Texas Governor Greg Abbott stokes fear over the age-old trope of immigrants being disease carriers – a claim for which the Washington Post found “no evidence.” Former Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and James Jay Carafano of the Heritage Foundation have an opinion column on Fox News that first rants about a “tsunami of illegal crossings” before concluding, “If the Biden Plan comes to fruition, it will irrevocably change the face of the American polity forever. The real challenge before us…the Biden Plan to leverage the crisis into an electoral pot of gold.”
This is where they have landed. The governor of Texas distracts from his failures by blaming COVID spread in his state on a handful of immigrants, and the former head of DHS seems to be echoing the white replacement theory chanted about in Charlottesville.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Democrats are delivering on big things. On immigration, Democrats stand with the strong majority of the public who support citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including the Dreamers, TPS holders and farm workers.
Meanwhile, Republicans’ strategy is as ugly as it is obvious. They want the public to ignore their culpability and abdication of duty when it comes to COVID and Capitol insurrectionists, and instead ignite fears about a bunch of vulnerable kids with dark skin seeking refuge in America.
Democrats should stand strong and stay focused on improving people’s lives. Republicans should consider whether ‘white power’ is really the hill they want to die on.”