America’s Voice Reacts to Rumored Biden Immigration Executive Actions and Larger Immigration Moment

America’s Voice Reacts to Rumored Biden Immigration Executive Actions and Larger Immigration Moment

Editorial credit: Luca Perra /

By America’s Voice | February 22, 2024

Washington, DC — The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the rumors of Biden administration executive actions on border and asylum: 

“The Biden administration seems to be learning some of the wrong immigration policy and political lessons from recent months if the rumored details about the impending executive actions are true. Any effort to block or suppress people from seeking fair hearing for their asylum claim, for example, would keep people in harm’s way and fail to advance the goal of an orderly border. While we will await more clarity and specifics regarding the leaked policy details, the general trajectory is a troubling indication of how the President and his team are viewing the public opinion and politics of the immigration issue at this moment.

A strong majority of the public, including Latino voters, support a balanced set of solutions for our broken immigration system. This ‘both/and’ approach includes not only measures to promote an orderly border, but also legal immigration pathways and access to a fair, fast, and accessible asylum system (see below for key related findings from a Pew Research poll), alongside durable public support for citizenship for Dreamers and other long-settled immigrants.

This type of approach resounds politically, as Tom Suozzi’s recent victory in the New York special election underscored. The approach to ‘lean in’ and address immigration head-on; call out Republicans’ dangerous extremism and preference for political chaos instead of bipartisan solutions; and both acknowledge voter concerns over border security and orderliness while also backing legalization and citizenship remains the right template for President Biden and Democrats. What we are hearing is under consideration at the White House seems at odds with this balanced, both/and strategy.

Yes, the American public wants action, instead of the broken status quo and perpetual obstruction. But simply adopting Republican frames is not the way the Biden administration should show they are meeting the public’s concerns. Republicans have blocked the funding needed to make progress on this issue and the President should be making that clear. In the face of GOP obstruction, the President should focus on  unlocking federal funding to fortify ports of entry and direct traffic towards, not away from these controlled entry points; processing asylum seekers and getting them to work using every tool at his disposal; and providing support for cities to integrate newcomers. This contrasts with the Trump approach and could circumvent cynical Republican obstruction and dysfunction.

Finally, at a time when Donald Trump and allies are proposing a sweeping set of immigration policies that would purge the country of the foreign born, ravage our economy, and transform the very fabric of our nation in the process, the rumored executive actions miss the chance to reset the terms of the debate by forcefully contrasting with the Trump vision and reaffirming support for the reality that American, our economy, and the future of our democracy are stronger from immigrants and a functional immigration system.”

  • Pew Research poll on public sentiment re. southern border and related policies: A Pew Research poll released last week found that while a majority of the American public thinks the situation at the southern border is either a ‘crisis’ or ‘major problem,’ the two most popular proposed solutions don’t resemble Trump-light proposals:
    • A 60% majority said “increasing the number of immigration judges and staff in order to make decisions on asylum more quickly” would make the situation better.
    • A 56% majority said “creating more opportunities for people to legally immigrate to the U.S.” would make the situation better.

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