Updated Medium analysis from America’s Voice looks back and ahead on immigration. Read in full online HERE
Washington, DC – As the New Year begins and a new Congress chaotically takes office, America’s Voice assesses the current moment on immigration in an updated Medium post.
Read, “Taking Stock on Immigration: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We Need to Go” and find short excerpts below:
Where We’ve Been — a brief reminder of recent developments on immigration. 2022 ended with another ugly reminder that Republicans are more interested in headlines than in solutions on immigration, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott dumped scores of asylum seekers at the doorstep of the Vice President’s residence in Washington on a frigid Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, the late-December Supreme Court decision to keep Title 42 in place put an exclamation point on the Republican strategy of handcuffing federal immigration policy using the courts and friendly Trump-appointed judges – the anti-immigrant judicial pipeline. The continued use of Title 42 to bar asylum seekers clearly has no connection to public health – and never did – and has significantly hampered federal efforts to control the southern border in an orderly manner. Yet the Court refused to let the federal government revert back to its pre-COVID border management regime, which had proven much more effective at maintaining order at the border, despite the serious shortcomings of an underlying asylum system starved for resources and staffing.
In spite of their relentless focus on the border and immigration, most in the GOP are not interested in solutions or solving problems, but instead want to keep the status quo in place because they think it helps them politically. This GOP assessment appears to have endured despite the results of the 2022 midterms. As our post-election report, “MAGA Extremism Failed at the Ballot Box” details, Republicans’ nativism was one component of the GOP’s larger extremism liability with American voters, which helped turn a host of winnable 2022 midterm races for Republicans into electoral defeats. Democrats and President Biden, for their part, have so far failed to fully turn the page on the chaos and cruelty of the previous administration.
Where We Are — a snapshot of the current moment and American public opinion. Republicans obstruction’ and extremism on immigration is at odds with points of broad consensus among the American public. Despite the GOP’s relentless nativist messaging and adoption of ethno-nationalist talking points, Americans’ support for immigrants and immigration remains strong.
The common thread between Americans’ immigration sentiment – including cited polling showing overwhelming and consistent support for citizenship for Dreamers and the undocumented populations; strong support for asylum access; and strong preference for a balanced rather than deterrence-only policy approach – is a desire for reform and solutions that balance border control with support for immigrants and an immigration system that is both welcoming and orderly. Republicans’ embrace of the broken status quo – for political purposes – and their support for failed, cruel and chaotic Trump/Stephen Miller policies are deeply unpopular outside the MAGA bubble.
Where We Need to Go — a succinct overview of where immigration policy should be headed. The immigration status quo isn’t working for anyone. Instead of short-term deterrence approaches – such as the December 2022 anti-immigrant amendments to the omnibus from Senator Lee and Senators Tester and Sinema – we need to define a bigger vision on immigration that is responsive to both our short-term and long-term needs and interests. The full Medium piece details component pieces of this larger vision.
The Medium analysis concludes, in part, by asserting the stakes: “The future of democracy on this continent and around the world requires a strong repudiation of the counter-majoritarian project advanced by the GOP. Rejecting their relentless nativism and recognizing that their anti-immigrant worldview is inextricable from their broader anti-democratic worldview is a core part of this challenge before us.”