By Jesús García | December 11, 2023 | La Opinion
In addition to not being part of the immigration reform negotiations, Hispanic congressmen are pressuring President Joe Biden to reject the immigration plan proposed by Republicans in exchange for supplemental financial aid.
Senator Alex Padilla (California), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Security, and Representative Nanette Barragán (Calif.), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), issued a joint statement.
Leaders lament that President Biden is considering the Republican proposal that would modify asylum claim rules, reduce deportation protections and increase deportations, among other plans.
They add that such plans emulate former President Donald Trump’s immigration strategy.
“We are deeply concerned that the President will consider promoting Trump-era immigration policies that Democrats fought hard against (and campaigned against),” the congressmen said. “Giving in to the demands of these permanent and damaging policy changes as a ‘price to pay’ for a single, unrelated spending package would set a dangerous precedent.”
The Hispanic congressmen are referring to the $106 billion that President Biden has requested as supplemental aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, which also includes some $000 billion to bolster border security.
“President Biden knows that’s not what the Democrats are standing for,” Padilla and Barragán said. “During his 2020 campaign, [Biden] promised to restore our nation’s ‘moral standing in the world and our historic role as a haven for refugees and asylum seekers.’ It is unconscionable that the president would consider breaking his word by enacting what amounts to a ban on asylum seeking.”
Padilla and Barragán insist that the Republican plans, which the Biden administration is open to negotiating on, would expand the persecution of immigrants in the U.S.
“Terrorizing communities across the United States by expanding expedited deportation and ignoring our international obligations to provide asylum to those fleeing persecution, violence, and authoritarianism are unprincipled,” they said.
The congressmen acknowledge that immigration reform is urgent, but described the positions of the Republicans as “extremist.”
“We unequivocally agree on the need for Congress to act to reform our immigration system and address the challenges at our border, but extreme Republican demands to cut off legal pathways and deport long-term residents will not reduce unauthorized migration, they will only exacerbate the challenges of our current situation.” Considered.
Members of the Hispanic Caucus had already spoken out in early November against the bipartisan negotiation plans, led by Republican Thom Tillis (North Carolina) and Democrat Chris Murphy (Connecticut).
“Senate Republicans are clearly not interested in strategic border management and we should not accept their cruel and unrealistic demands,” Padilla and Barragan charged.
Dozens of civic organizations have spoken out against the Republicans’ plans.
More Organizations Against Immigration Plan
Dozens of civil rights and immigrant rights organizations have joined the rejection of the Republicans’ immigration plan and demand that President Biden not support it.
“Addressing the immigration and asylum situation requires comprehensive solutions, focusing primarily on humanitarian aid,” said Yadira Sanchez, executive director of Poder Latinx. “We must stop seeing the border as a political bargaining chip and stop reducing the lives of migrants and asylum seekers to pawns in political games. Our approach must prioritize empathy for human dignity.”
The Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) and the American Network of Haitian Elected Officials National (NHAEON) also joined the rejection of the immigration proposal.
“Legislation that aims to create unlawful barriers to asylum and restrict the president’s authority on humanitarian parole poses a risk to the very foundations of our immigration system,” said Guerline Jozef, executive director of the HBA.
Charnette Frederic, president of NHEAON, called on the Biden Administration to “respect human dignity.”
“We call on the Biden Administration and Congress to prioritize solutions that uphold the values of justice, fairness, and compassion in shaping the future of our immigration system,” Frederic said.