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Restoring the Soul of America Shouldn’t Mean Embracing Trump Immigration Policies

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Washington, DC Just weeks ago, the Biden campaign pledged to go “on the offensive on immigration, decrying ‘scary’ Trump plans.” Today, the Biden administration is reportedly open to including Trump immigration policies in a supplemental funding bill,  such as nationwide “expedited removal”—in essence rounding up undocumented immigrants for mass deportations no matter where they live or work. 

As Reuters reports, “The White House would be open to heightening the standard for initial asylum screenings … would entertain some form of a “safe third country” provision that would deny asylum to migrants who pass through another country en route to the U.S. … Another possible point of agreement could be expanding a fast-track deportation process known as ‘expedited removal.’ The authority would be employed nationwide instead of its current application at the border.”

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

“Restoring the soul of America shouldn’t mean embracing Trump immigration policies or giving in to Republicans’ extreme demands. Biden risks a major strategic error flipping from drawing a sharp contrast with Trump’s extreme immigration agenda to adopting parts of that same extreme agenda himself. He may be doing this out of misguided short-term political expediency, but there will be a steep political price to pay among his own voters. 

If President Biden or any Democrat thinks giving in to GOP demands on immigration will help ratchet down Republicans’ ugliness and lies and political attacks on immigration – or help advance policy solutions that move us toward a more orderly border – they are wrong on both the politics and policy. 

None of what is being discussed and demanded is ‘border security’ and many of the measures would make securing the border more difficult. Pushing people away from ports of entry, eliminating legal avenues and requiring incarceration of families and children will make border management substantially more difficult. The President is considering aiding the people of Ukraine with one hand, while with the other hand, slashing legal pathways and parole programs that Ukrainians use to safely flee Putin’s aggression . 

Furthermore, this is no longer strictly about border and asylum policy but would have potentially devastating legal consequences for all 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S., even though the vast majority have lived here for more than a decade. National expedited removal and deportation – being considered by Biden and the Democrats – means everyone would be vulnerable.

A broad majority of the nation, including the electorate that President Biden is counting on, wants reform to a broken immigration system, including a balanced approach that both promotes an orderly border and safe legal immigration pathways. Embracing Trump’s scorched-earth nativism and the failed and extreme MAGA policy vision based solely on deterring or suppressing legal immigration will only perpetuate a broken system, reward dangerous partisan brinkmanship, and dispirit key parts of the Biden coalition ahead of a re-election year where base voter enthusiasm is already an issue.”

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