AUDIO LINK to Call Recording
Washington, DC — On a press call held this afternoon, Latino leaders from political, civil rights, and advocacy organizations discussed the latest on immigration policy and politics on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail.
The speakers called for Latino elected officials to be involved in ongoing negotiations in the U.S. Senate regarding immigration and asylum policy; reacted to House Republicans’ plans for a sham impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; and assessed the dangerous implications of a potential Donald Trump second term, following a recent New York Times story on Trump’s immigration plans.
María Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino said: “As a nation, we must not give into these extremists. The far right has made it clear they will not stop until all 62 million Latinos in the U.S. are demonized and marginalized. We will be closely monitoring these talks and ensuring that Latino voters across the country understand how to make their voices heard on this issue that deeply impacts so many of us.”
Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS Action Fund stated, “We are alarmed and deeply concerned that key talks in Congress about border policies and the treatment of humanitarian migrants are happening without a single Hispanic lawmaker or ally in the room. The stakes are too high and the impact on our community too great for our community’s perspective to be ignored. Latinos, like most Americans, want effective and humane solutions to strengthen our borders and to protect those seeking safety and opportunity in our country.”
Katharine Pichardo-Erskine, Executive Director of Latino Victory Project said, “Our country is facing real problems, both at home and abroad. And, we need real solutions – not gimmicks like this “border security” measure, which is both one-sided and short-sighted. As leaders who advocate for empowering Latino communities and who support all immigrants, we know this is a bad deal for America. We cannot have an enforcement-only approach to immigration. We need comprehensive immigration reform, and Latino leaders at the table who can represent our communities – and American values – with the dignity they deserve. This is not the moment to let extremists dictate immigration policies. Until Republicans offer a real deal, Democrats should simply say ‘No Deal.’”
Hector Sanchez Barba, President and CEO of Mi Familia Vota, stated, “Mi Familia Vota stands with our immigrant communities. We understand the need for compromise and bipartisanship. However, if Congress makes any adjustments to asylum policy, they must be made with a complete understanding of the real-world implications on vulnerable communities. We cannot afford to overlook the risk of damaging concessions without the input of those who have consistently advocated for the rights and well-being of affected individuals. These fights are all the more urgent given the extremist MAGA anti-immigrant movement in the nation. We know what happens when Donald Trump is allowed to enforce his immigration policies: terror and chaos for our communities. We cannot allow him to return to office. Mi Familia Vota is organizing and fighting in our communities to ensure that we turn out and vote in 2024. Now is the time for action and policies that make sense for all communities and the future of our nation. We are building Latino power to fight extremism and protect our democracy.”
Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said: “From the ongoing conversations in the Senate about border and asylum policy changes to the recent coverage of Trump’s chilling immigration plans in a second term to yesterday’s vote regarding the impeachment of DHS Secretary Mayorkas – the through line is a cruel effort to use immigration and immigrants as a boogeyman in the 2024 election cycle, demonize immigrants for political gain, and in the process undermine efforts for real policy solutions on immigration. In the process, these efforts are helping to transform the notion of a confident and inclusive American democracy into a fearful and insular country, divided along racial and partisan lines.”