tags: Press Releases

Immigration Resources and Pre-Analysis of Wednesday’s GOP Debate

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Washington, DC – Tomorrow evening, at the Reagan Presidential Library, the second Republican presidential debate will be held. While the proceedings will not feature Donald Trump, they will likely feature a host of dangerous, ugly, and politicized messages on immigration and the border that reflect the ongoing descent of the GOP on the issue. Below are several key questions we’ll be looking out for tomorrow night, followed by a preview quote from AV’s Vanessa Cárdenas and concluding with a host of pre-debate previews and resources at bottom.

  • Question 1: Will the GOP debate stage platform dangerous white nationalist conspiracies about immigrants? Describing the border as under an “invasion” is a dangerous and false white nationalist conspiracy theory that echoes the writings of multiple deadly domestic terrorists. Meanwhile, other Republicans are helping to mainstream the “great replacement” theory, a lie similarly linked to real world violence and deeply entwined with antisemitism. Despite these real world dangers, ongoing tracking at America’s Voice has identified more than 500 examples of elected Republicans or GOP campaigns that employed the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory since last August and was featured in the first debate.
  • Question 2: Will candidates continue their dangerous race to the bottom on war with Mexico and make more calls for border violence? Ron DeSantis is calling for deadly violence at the border in his stump speech and his pledge to leave threats “stone cold dead” is featured in his ads and fundraising This week, Vivek Ramaswamy said that one of his first acts as president would be to threaten to invade Mexico, and compared the country to a disobedient dog that should be shot and killed if they didn’t behave. The two candidates are far from alone in their belligerent and dangerous language toward Mexico – see here for more.
  • Question 3: Will they propose real policy solutions or just more cruel and unworkable political theater? Instead of real attempts to propose solutions to immigration and border issues, we expect political posturing and ugly political theater – endorsements of border walls and razor-wired floating buoys and legislation to end or gut asylum, deport U.S. citizens, or curtail legal immigration and legal status. There is misinformation that the Trump years were successful in their approach to immigration and the border and an ill-advised desire among Republicans to go back to the same unsuccessful policies. These approaches are cruel and unworkable, creating chaos and dangers rather than real solutions for 21st-century migration or efforts to broker a long overdue legislative fix for our outdated immigration system.
  • Question 4: Will Anyone Focus on Popular Solutions to Build on DACA and Deliver Certainty for Dreamers? Or for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US? The recent DACA ruling from Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen again imperils the future of the popular and successful program and reinforces the inadequacy and injustice of the status quo for Dreamers. DACA and Dreamers are wildly popular across the political spectrum. The solutions to their plight haven’t changed – we need legislation that delivers Dreamers the opportunity for citizenship and to fully participate in the country they have long called home. Will any Republicans propose their vision for Dreamers and a post-DACA future? Likewise, will any of the candidates on stage articulate a path forward for the millions of workers who are already here, many of them for decades, and who are essential to our economy and our communities?

According to Vanessa Cárdenas Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“It is ironic that tonight we will see some of the most anti-immigrant candidates in U.S. history trying to outdo themselves in President Ronald Reagan’s library – the same Republican President and icon who gave millions of immigrants a path to legalization in 1986. On the debate stage, the GOP’s long descent on immigration will be on full display, as candidates will most likely take cheap and cruel shots at desperate people who still believe in the promise of the “city on the hill” that Reagan so eloquently described. Today, most Republicans on the debate stage and on Capitol Hill are united in their extremism and embrace dangerous rhetoric for perceived political gain instead of real attempts to advance solutions on immigration and 21st century migration. Yet for all the ugly talk we expect to hear, let’s remember that the GOP’s embrace of MAGA extremism, including on immigration, may resonate among their base, but alienates the broader American electorate in the process, including Latino voters who will be watching on Univision tomorrow night.”

Additional Resources from America’s Voice