tags: Press Releases

Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: Lessons from the GOP Debacles (Plural) on Immigration Policy & Politics

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Washington, DC —In an alternate universe, this week on Capitol Hill would have featured House Republicans voting to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas while their Senate counterparts advanced a supplemental package that included border and immigration measures heavily tilted to their hardline priorities. In reality, House Republicans failed to impeach Secretary Mayorkas, for now, while Senate Republicans are set to torpedo the very legislative approach they have demanded as a prerequisite for funding the nation’s highest foreign policy priorities. 

Below, America’s Voice takes stock of these developments and what they should mean going forward:

Point 1: Republicans’ dysfunction, incompetence, and preference for politics above governing laid bare.

Reviews of Republicans’ handling of the Mayorkas vote and Senate legislative package are in and they are brutal – just a sampling: “stunning defeat,” “epic implosion, “a humiliating series of setbacks,” “dysfunction reigns,” and “gobsmacked,” are among the kinder ones. 

As Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, assessed, it’s “as pathetic as it is cynical” and noting, it “makes clear their preference for immigration and the border as a political issue to run on, rather than an issue to be resolved.” 

Republicans’ priority is driving a relentless and cynical nativist political message for 2024, despite versions of that very same strategy failing to deliver in the last several election cycles (eg: 2018, 2020, and 2022 and off-cycle races when immigration was touted as the secret sauce that would supposedly unite the American electorate behind Republicans). Today,  despite the opportunity to enact legislation tilted in their supposed policy directions, Republicans exposed themselves. 

It means zero observers should take seriously the GOP’s next border photo op press conference or give credence to their relentless “pin the blame on Democrats” framing when it comes to managing and addressing 21st century migration challenges.

Point 2: GOP cynicism and dysfunction should open up space for Democrats on immigration to lean into real solutions. 

Even after Democrats bent over backward to give in to GOP policy demands, Republicans are continuing their decades-long pattern of moving the goalposts and walking away from any form of immigration or border reform.

The lesson for Democrats? They shouldn’t recycle the Senate bill text that was heavily tilted toward GOP priorities – that soon-to-be-official failure only underscored Republicans’ cynicism and bad faith. Instead, now Democrats have the opportunity to revisit what real solutions and immigration reform really looks like and what a strong majority of the American people really support: a balanced approach to legal immigration, border management, national security and legal status for people living and working here. 

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“The bad faith motives and incompetence of a deeply unserious Republican Party are being exposed in real time and Democrats should learn the right lessons from the ongoing dysfunction. With the dismal failure of the House and Senate GOP to get to yes on immigration, Democrats have the opportunity to step into the issue and clearly  outline a real agenda to run on that contrasts genuine and popular solutions with the fear, misinformation, and cynical politics offered by the GOP.”