tags: Press Releases

Emboldened Anti-Immigrant Movement, Indistinguishable from GOP, Lays Bare a Radical Agenda

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Vanessa Cardenas: “The Republican Party and the broader conservative movement isn’t hiding who they are and where they want to take America. This is today’s GOP, with all its animating nativism laid bare.”

Washington, DC – The Republican Party and their leading anti-immigrant allies aren’t hiding who they are or what they want. It’s a radical agenda, laid bare, with rabid anti-immigrant policies an inextricable part of their larger counter-majoritarian project.

A sordid mix of designated hate groups, controversial ex-Trump officials and longtime nativist leaders are setting the agenda. They recently sent a letter to congressional Republicans laying out what Congress should do if  Republicans win control of both houses of Congress. After that unhinged introduction, it calls for Republicans to “immediately legislate unflinchingly” after the midterms, proposing a wishlist of truly radical anti-immigrant measures.

The anti-immigrant policy ideas proposed in the letter: finish Trump’s wasteful and failed border wall; exclude “amnesty of any kind,” (note that 70% of the American public still supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants); disqualify for asylum those traveling through third countries (essentially making Mexicans and Canadians the only groups eligible for asylum consideration); empower states to aggressively enforce federal immigration laws; codify the Remain in Mexico policy; end limits on the detention of families; and prohibit common sense immigration enforcement priorities that say ICE arrests and deportations should be focused primarily on those who pose a threat to public safety.

It is difficult to distinguish these radicals from the mainstream of today’s Republican Party. Key elements of the radical agenda echo the immigration section of the political blueprint released by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Note also that among the letter signers include leading proponents of the white nationalist “invasion” conspiracy theory, such as Ken Cuccinelli and Tom Homan, just as the GOP and allies have launched more than 100 different Republican candidates, committees, and PAC ads that employed the “invasion” rhetoric over the last year, including from Sen. Rick Scott and the third-ranking House Republican Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Note also that incumbent GOP governors, such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, are already implementing their own version of state-driven immigration enforcement as part of his relentless weaponization of nativism. And finally, note that Republicans in Congress are already rallying around legislation to virtually end the asylum system as we know it.

The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

“The Republican Party and the broader conservative movement isn’t hiding who they are and where they want to take America. This is today’s GOP, with all its animating nativism laid bare. An emboldened GOP is going for broke in their extremist agenda that includes efforts to send back immigrants, turn back refugees, roll back women’s rights, limit access to the ballot box, and generally turn back the clock to a time when America’s democracy and rights were mostly limited to white, Christian, straight men. 

Democrats need to wake up to what they’re up against (and who some are willing to partner with). Republican extremism is no longer hiding, it is brazenly out in the open, betting on the worst of our fears. It is up to us to remind them that they are out of step with most Americans. For their part, Democrats need to stop the hem and haw and avoid reflexes to blur distinctions and aid the GOP’s unhinged beliefs. Further, they need to clearly define the radicalism and anti-democratic drive at the heart of what the GOP is openly proposing.”