tags: Press Releases

The Costs and Dangers of GOP’s Ongoing Immigration Descent Captured in Washington Post Editorial

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Vanessa Cárdenas: “Republicans’ rapid descent from a party that used to make room for strong, pro-immigrant voices into its current, near-universal embrace of dangerous extremism, nativism and violence comes at a tremendous cost to our democracy, our economy, and our country’s future.”

Washington, DC – A must-read editorial in the Washington Post captures the details and dangerous implications of the Republican Party’s continued descent on immigration.

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

“The Post editorial gets it right. Republicans’ rapid descent from a party that used to make room for strong, pro-immigrant voices into its current embrace of dangerous extremism and nativism comes at a tremendous cost to our democracy, our economy, and our country’s future. None of their current ideas that are being discussed and deployed on the campaign trail present real solutions for 21st-century migration or would deliver the legislative fix our broken immigration system needs and a strong majority of Americans support. We need to keep speaking out and calling out the GOP’s weaponization of immigration issues, their support and justifications for dangerous ideas that lead to violence, and their continued role in blocking common sense solutions that remain desperately needed.”

Below are key excerpts from the Post’s editorial, “The GOP’s Race to the Bottom on Immigration is on Full Display,” followed by several other recent commentaries relevant to the current moment and future implications. 

Washington Post: The GOP’s Race to the Bottom on Immigration is on Full Display

“Donald Trump wasn’t onstage for the first Republican debate Wednesday night, but the former president’s leading rivals tried to one-up him anyway, proposing to use deadly force to secure the southern border and deploy the U.S. military into Mexico to battle drug cartels. Nativist rhetoric that sounded so extreme when Mr. Trump came down the golden escalator eight years ago has moved into the GOP mainstream. That doesn’t make it any less unsavory.

Securing the southern border is a worthwhile goal. But by clearly, if through winks and nods, conflating migrants with drug traffickers, the candidates mislead Americans on the nature of the drug interdiction challenge — to propose extreme measures that would be both immoral and bad for the national interest.

…being willing to use the U.S. military at and south of the border has become a litmus test for the GOP field … All this represents a shift for the party … The impetuous campaign talk on the GOP stage reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how most drugs are smuggled into the country, which is through ports of entry, not by foot. A less bellicose and more effective response would crack down on drug traffickers inside the United States, invest in more detection equipment at ports of entry, team up as much as possible with Mexican authorities on the other side of the border and fund treatment programs for addicts.

But that would not sound as tough as GOP candidates want to appear in their race to out-Trump Mr. Trump — an exercise that results in escalating levels of delusion and recklessness.”

Meanwhile, in The New Republic, Brynn Tannehill writes Republicans’ Border Policy Proposals Are Sadistic and Would Lead to Chaos” noting in part, “Republican candidates for the party’s 2024 nomination have learned that no one wants to hear about boring stuff where there might be room for thought or compromise: They want to hear how the candidates will brutalize the enemies of the herrenvolk. Now they’re trying to outdo one another in a game of competitive outbidding, where each seeks a more extreme position to label the other as weak on drugs and border security.”

And in her New York Times opinion column, Lydia Polgreen highlights the dark implications and lessons from a recent Human Rights Watch report that documents how “Saudi border guards had killed hundreds — perhaps thousands — of Ethiopians seeking to cross from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. The column, “In a Report From a Distant Border, I Glimpsed Our Brutal Future,”  notes:

“There appears to be no limit to the cruelty that will be tolerated in the name of keeping out people whom rich countries deem undesirable. Despite the many international agreements and norms around the movement of people, everything from wanton disregard for the lives of migrants right up to deliberate, maximum deadly force seems to be on the table.

…Indeed, the moral standard in how we treat those seeking safety and freedom across borders has unquestionably been set by the West. It was the European Union that decided to open its coffers to the murderous Libyan Coast Guard to prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean. Europe has paid Turkey’s government billions of euro in exchange for keeping millions of Syrian refugees out of Europe. Britain’s Conservative government is trying to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, of all places, rather than accept its obligation under international law to admit refugees.

Europe is hardly alone. The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has strung barbarous devices across the Rio Grande. If the current doesn’t drown migrants, the razor wire and giant saw blades could.”

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