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Stark Contrasts Take Shape Following Biden’s Decisive Immigration Announcement

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Washington, DC — Right on cue, opponents of immigration have ratcheted up their lies and distortions to attack President Biden’s immigration announcement on Tuesday offering new protections and opportunities for spouses of U.S. citizens and Dreamers (see our immediate reaction here). In response to the President’s announcement, the right is trotting out their stable of dehumanizing and bigoted disinformation. They are making false attacks of “amnesty,” amplifying the white nationalist replacement theory and fear-mongering about “open borders” and myths of “migrant crime” to distract from their plan to separate American families by targeting these same individuals for mass deportation. It clarifies the stakes on immigration for this election season.

Among the many notable reactions and analyses of President Biden’s immigration announcement this week, Greg Sargent of The New Republic offered a must-read analysis about the intentions of President Biden’s strategy and the contrast with Donald Trump and other Republicans on immigration. Below, we excerpt key excerpts from the Greg Sargent column following a fresh, brief statement issued today by Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“The stakes are clear: recognizing that immigrants are vital to the American economy and society and we should keep American families together versus separating families with a massively destabilizing deportation agenda. President Biden’s decisive announcement this week will help ensure that American families can stay together and that more Dreamer college graduates have an opportunity to put their degrees to work to build up this country. 

The President’s announcement also clarifies the stakes and contrasts during this election: following Republican legislative obstruction and demonization of immigrants, President Biden is taking actions that aim to pair an orderly border – including some measures we don’t fully support – with protections and opportunities for long-settled immigrants and American families. This approach of order and legalization connects with the vast majority of the American public’s immigration sentiments. In contrast, Donald Trump and his allies are proposing separating families, mass roundups, and unsparing deportations for long-settled immigrant populations. They are perpetuating lies and conspiracies about the border and blocking the broader legislative reform and modernization we desperately need.”

Find key excerpts below from Greg Sargent in the New Republic, “Fox News’s Ugly Eruption Over Biden Immigration Move Has a Hidden Tell“:

“Fox News is already erupting over the news that President Biden is granting legal protections to a half-million undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens … there’s a key tell buried in all this reaction: It seizes on this new Biden executive action to refocus the argument on the state of the border, which is not seriously relevant to the policy, as it grants relief to longtime immigrant residents. This shows that Fox and MAGA cannot allow the immigration debate to focus on that population, because it is largely viewed sympathetically by the voting public.

… there’s something highly revealing about the Fox and MAGA descent into such vile demagoguery. Miller, Trump, and others enthuse about launching mass deportations, but they often describe this as the removal of a dangerous, amorphous enemy class within. Biden’s new move highlights that many of those people are deeply connected to U.S. communities and to countless American families. These real people are harder to demagogue, so Republicans are shouting: Look over there at the border instead!

All this confirms a larger point. When Bidenannounced new limits on asylum in early June, some analystssaw it as evidence that he must embrace stricter border security to win reelection. But that’s only half the story. While the border is a real problem for Democrats, the Biden approach is to combine restrictions on asylum-seeking by unlawful border crossers with reforms making it easier for people to immigrate and integrate in a rules-bound, orderly way.

… Their approaches are fundamentally different. Trumpvows to expel the whole undocumented population via giant detention camps and even the military. Biden is restricting asylum while alsoparoling into the country tens of thousands of migrants who apply from abroad each month (broadening legal pathways to shift incentives away from trekking to the border), extending Temporary Protected Statusto others where possible, and now, granting protections to hundreds of thousands of undocumented spouses of American citizens.

That combination should allow Biden to draw a contrast with Trump. Biden needs to make this about something larger than the border—about immigration as a positive good for the country—while pitting his humane treatment of undocumented migrants living here or seeking alternative pathways to entry against Trump’s threat to inflict extraordinary cruelty, disruption, and suffering via mass removal of millions.”