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Why Trump’s Threats to Democracy Are Tied to His Relentless Anti-Immigrant Obsessions

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Washington, DC — An important Associated Press story this weekend from Lisa Mascaro, “Some of Trump’s allies in Congress already support his 2025 ideas on deportations and Jan. 6 pardons,” highlights the acquiescence and full-throated support of congressional Republicans for both Donald Trump’s extreme and costly immigration vision and his dangerous embrace of anti-democracy measures, including his support for the January 6th insurrectionists. As America’s Voice has been assessing, rather than separate elements of the Trump worldview, his relentless anti-immigrant focus and threats to democracy are best viewed as part of a larger strategy and vision.

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

“The Trump campaign’s anti-immigrant focus isn’t about managing the border or real solutions in the interest of the American people; instead it is a torrent of lurid nativist lies and conspiracies meant to drive his assault on our democracy in his pursuit of power. Stoking dehumanizing fears about immigrants and advancing  ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement’ conspiracies is designed to energize the MAGA voting base and also to lay the groundwork for delegitimizing election results as a pretext for political violence in the style of January 6th. This ugly vision is at odds with the reality that immigrants are essential to the American project and prosperity, and not a threat to it. This underscores the stakes for our democracy.”

Below, find key excerpts from the AP story, including quotes from Vanessa Cárdenas, followed by additional America’s Voice resources detailing the link between Trump’s immigration vision and his anti-democratic vision:

“As Donald Trump campaigns on promises of mass deportations and pardons for those convicted in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, his ideas are being met with little pushback and some enthusiasm by a new era of Republicans in Congress. It’s a shift from the first time around when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee encountered early skepticism and, once in a while, the uproar of condemnation.

Rather than being dismissed as campaign bluster or Trump speaking his mind to rouse his most devoted voters, his words are being adopted as party platforms, potentially able to move quickly from rhetoric to reality with a West Wing in waiting and crucial backing from key corners on Capitol Hill.

…Vanessa Cardenas, a former Biden campaign official who now heads the advocacy organization America’s Voice, said she was worried that Trump allies in a second term would ‘actually know how to work the levers of government … I worry that there’s a little bit of amnesia about how cruel his policies were,” she said, describing the fear in migrant communities. “Our tolerance level for his language and his ideas keeps increasing.’”

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