Washington, DC – A new policy blueprint released today by longtime immigration champion Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is a major step forward toward an affirmative policy agenda that the Biden administration, outside experts, and the American public can rally around.
Titled, “Securing Our Borders By Managing Migration And Refugees In The Americas,” the Menendez plan offers a series of thoughtful executive branch policies that, together, draw a sharp contrast with Republicans who continue to block a needed legislative overhaul in favor of relentless anti-immigrant politics and cruel and counterproductive policies (including the new House GOP anti-immigrant bill being marked up this week).
The Menendez plan outlines four core areas:
- Create new legal pathways and expand existing pathways to reduce pressure at the southern border
- Increase resources at the border to process asylum seekers and remove people without legal claims to stay in the U.S.
- Expand humanitarian assistance and develop financing to better integrate migrants and refugees in countries across the Americas
- Elevate efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations involved in human trafficking and smuggling
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Senator Menendez is charting a thoughtful and balanced vision for how the Biden administration can and should make progress on immigration and border policies. His new blueprint proposes real solutions that advance our interests and are consistent with our values.
The Menendez vision also recognizes the unfortunate reality that today’s Republican Party is incapable and unwilling to come to the table to partner on real solutions. Instead, as the House GOP’s own new wish list of anti-immigrant legislative proposals makes clear, they are more concerned about throwing ugly red meat to the MAGA base than serious efforts to broker a way forward.
Today, the contrast between the parties and their two approaches is crystal clear: A Democratic plan that seeks to improve our immigration system in a thoughtful and compassionate manner, versus Republicans in the House who are rallying around a wish list of Trump’s most injurious propositions. As we detailed yesterday, the strong majority of the public wants a breakthrough on immigration and backs policy reforms that embrace a balanced approach – along the lines of the Menendez blueprint and the broader legislative contours that Democrats are supportive of. Not more GOP anti-immigrant policies that are only about keeping people out and would trample on our values, embrace more cruelty and chaos and dampen America’s economic potential.”
The House GOP immigration bill being marked up this week includes a host of non-starter policies that would re-up or even go farther than the Donald Trump and Stephen Miller agenda. Of note, the Republicans’ bill would force kids and families into detention, inflict harm on our economy and turn our back on America’s proud tradition as a beacon of refuge by effectively ending asylum at the U.S. Mexico border.