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Immigration, Refugee and Latino Voter Experts Preview Final Presidential Debate

 

A Recording of Today’s Call is Available Here

With immigration set to be a topic of the final presidential debate in Las Vegas tonight, experts and advocates gathered on a press call to discuss the facts, policy stances and politics related to the two candidates and their stances on immigration policy.

A recording of today’s call is available here. Below are quotes from the speakers.

Michelle Brané, Director of Migrant Rights and Justice Program of Women’s Refugee Commission, said, “Recent reports imply that the number of migrants crossing the Southern border are higher than ever.  This is simply not true.  The number of crossers has actually significantly decreased over the past 10 – 15 years. What has increased significantly is the percentage of that population that is comprised of women, children and individuals seeking asylum.  The Administration has cracked down on the arrival of these vulnerable populations in an attempt to detain, punish and deter them. These punitive policies don’t work because if someone is fleeing for their life, locking the door will not help. They will find a way out. The number of arrivals is manageable if we take a smart approach and match our border policies to the demographics of who is coming – these are not rapists and murderers but instead women and children seeking protection.”

Marshall Fitz, Managing Director of Immigration of Emerson Collective, said, “It may come as a shock to anyone who has been following this election cycle that facts actually DO matter. It’s not a great idea to base policy prescriptions on unfounded assertions, but that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from doing just that.  Trying to ensure a proper rendering of the facts during Trump’s verbal farrago tonight may be quixotic, but we plan to do our best to hold him accountable.”

Angela Maria Kelley, Executive Director of Center for American Progress Action Fund,said, “Let’s not forget what has been said: from the beginning, Trump has been seething hostility and disrespect towards immigrants. These are insults that stick. And even if there haven’t been insults in the last week, you can’t unring a bell that is ringing in the ears of immigrants across the country. On Election Day, he and the rest of the GOP down ballot candidates are going to pay for these insults. The question will then be if we can engage in a sensible, sober debate to discuss comprehensive immigration reform.”

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said “Recently, there has been some analyses and press reports suggesting that there’s a lack of Latino enthusiasm this election cycle. But what we’re seeing in the polling carried out by Latino Decisions on behalf of NALEO and Telemundo, combined with what we are hearing from folks on the ground who are knocking on doors and talking to Latino voters every day, suggests that voter enthusiasm and interest is beginning to surge. It’s beginning to look as if Latinos will play a decisive role in this election not only by virtue of their margin of support for Democratic candidates but by virtue of their turnout.”

Additional background:

New battleground state polling by Latino Decisions, commissioned by NALEO Education Fund, shows that Latino voters are poised to vote against Trump by historic margins. Among Latino voters, Clinton leads Trump 70%-18% in Arizona; 63%-23% in Florida; 69%-19% in North Carolina; and 72%-17% in Nevada.

For live coverage and fact checks during tonight’s debate, follow along on Twitter:

American Immigration Council

America’s Voice

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Marshall Fitz