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As President Trump gets ready for his tanks and airplane-filled ego trip on the National Mall, millions of Americans are rightfully outraged about the human rights crisis on display in detention facilities and holding cells along our border. The report issued yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security’s internal investigators adds ugly new details about the scope and nature of the squalor and is directly linked to the choices and callousness of this administration’s failures.
Thankfully, Democrats are already charting a better way and one that is broadly supported by the American public.
Americans’ Overwhelming Top Priority for Immigration Policy is Legalization and Citizenship – Not Divisiveness and Cruelty: A CNN poll released yesterday finds that, “majorities across party lines say that the government’s top priority in dealing with immigrants living in the US illegally ought to be developing a plan to allow some people doing so to become legal residents (80% overall say so, including 96% of Democrats, 81% of independents and 63% of Republicans). Just 15% overall — and only 32% of Republicans — say the nation should prioritize deporting all people living in the US illegally over developing such a plan.”
The new findings – appropriate for July 4th and our collective celebration of America – remind us that for all of the Trump-fueled demonization of immigrants, Americans are growing increasingly pro-immigrant in the Trump era – with record-high percentages thinking immigration is a good thing and the public consistently backing earned citizenship for immigrants with deep ties to the U.S. For example, a Fox News poll released in mid-June found that, by a 2:1 margin (50-24%), Americans think Trump’s enforcement of immigration laws has “gone too far” instead of “not far enough.” The same poll also found that Americans support Dreamers’ citizenship by a 73-24% margin, with even a majority of Republicans backing the idea.
Democrats’ Solutions to the Humanitarian and Refugee Crisis Can Be Put In Sharper Focus: The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent calls for Democrats to focus more on the set of proposals they have already unveiled to address the crisis, writing:
“Democrats — both House Democrats and 2020 candidates alike — can talk more about the party’s emerging solutions to the humanitarian crisis in particular. Plans have been introduced by House Democrats and Senate Democrats — the latter endorsed by all the senators who are running for president — as well as some of the candidates. These plans include things such as increased funding to Northern Triangle countries; creating additional in-country options for asylum seekers to apply for refugee status from afar to disincentivize the trek to the border; big investments in judges and programs to track asylum-seeking families awaiting hearings; and so forth. These elements exist in plans from left-leaning presidential candidates (Julián Castro) and more centrist ones (Joe Biden) alike.”
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice: “The outrage is palpable across the country over what our government is doing in our names, but the American people are remarkably united around real solutions to address the humanitarian and refugee crisis – and the larger vision for immigrants in America. Sharing the rights and responsibilities of citizenship is a value that spans America and Americans, regardless of party or partisanship. As a nation, we continue to heed President Lincoln’s appeal to be guided by the better angels of our nature. We should all remember that there remains a shared consensus on the better way forward than the divisive, failed, and cruel vision Trump is advancing, even as Trump plays faux strongman and tries to rebrand our nation’s birthday to be all about him.”