Washington, DC – As a disturbing week for our democracy wraps up, the reality is that the conservative and Republican countermajoritarian attack on Roe and women’s basic rights and liberties is part of a larger assault on foundational values central to the notion of America as an inclusive democracy.
On immigration, this means Republicans are building on their ongoing efforts to eviscerate America’s asylum system and their relentless and politicized fear-mongering around immigrants. Fresh off the Roe leak, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made clear his intention to challenge other long-settled Supreme Court rulings, such as the Supreme Court’s 1982 Plyler v. Doe decision that affirmed that undocumented children can attend public schools. Leading voices are putting what’s at stake in important context, including:
- Historian Nicole Hannah Jones noted, “What an ugly, graceless and cruel vision of America they have. Nothing feels safe.”
- Historian Thomas Zimmer stated, “The impending end of Roe v Wade will not magically appease the Right. Look at every piece of legislation, every political, social, cultural change since at least the 1960s that moved America closer to the ideal of multiracial, pluralistic democracy – they want it all gone.
- Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, the president of NextGen America, as quoted by Ron Brownstein in the Atlantic: “I do not believe that this Court is building an America for everyone. They are building an America for a very select few, and this is just the opening salvo of what that’s going to look like. The future is going to belong to America’s young people … And we are not going to quit and give up on these issues without a righteous fight.”
The following is a statement from Vanessa Cardenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Republicans are advancing an all-out assault on the notion of America as an inclusive, multiracial, majoritarian democracy. The GOP’s relentless, scorched earth nativism is a core part of this story – from their ongoing efforts to end asylum and America’s proud commitment as a beacon of liberty to their reliance on white nativist conspiracies, such as ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement theory,’ to justify their extremism.
Now, after this week’s Roe bombshell, Republicans and conservatives are taking things ever further, clearly emboldened to attack long-settled precedents and turn back the clock to a time when America’s version of an inclusive democracy was mostly limited to white, Christian, straight men.
On immigration, this means Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his allies are set to attack Plyler v. Doe in the courts, while their Republican allies in Congress seek to codify the end of asylum as we know it. All of this while Republicans refuse to follow the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the American public by partnering to pass legislation to modernize our immigration system.
The notion of America as an inclusive, multiracial democracy where we expand rights and liberties is under attack like we haven’t seen in generations. All of us who believe immigrants and refugees are foundational to the American experiment should be clear of the stakes.