Yes, the Majority of Americans Care About the Border and They Also Support Pro-Immigrant Actions

Yes, the Majority of Americans Care About the Border and They Also Support Pro-Immigrant Actions

By America’s Voice

Washington, DC — The drumbeat for pro-immigrant, affirmative relief is growing louder. As we highlighted earlier this week, the Biden administration is exploring executive actions to grant legal status and work permits to some long-settled undocumented immigrants, including those married to American citizens. The momentum behind this vision is driven by American families facing the barriers erected by our unforgiving and out-of-date immigration system and is backed by an array of policy experts and advocates, as well as key political observers underscoring the benefit to President Biden’s political prospects.

As Deirdre Schifeling, the ACLU’s chief political and advocacy officer, noted (per Rafael Bernal’s coverage in The Hill), “It’s not just good policy, it’s good politics. Recent polling shows that two-thirds of voters in swing states support expanding work permits for undocumented immigrants, including long-term workers, farmworkers, Dreamers without DACA and spouses of U.S. citizens.”

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

“Yes, our immigration system is broken and yes, we need to bring order to the border. But let’s be clear: the American public wants a comprehensive solution, not a band-aid approach focused on enforcement. The Biden Administration should take steps to legalize long-established and hard-working immigrants as both good policy and smart politics. With immigration and the border top-of-mind issues for many Americans, it is a political imperative to act to address the full scope of voters’ concerns.

The prospect of solely focusing on the border would be a missed opportunity to connect with the American public, define contrasts with Republicans, and enact policies that advance both our values and interests.

The president should move forward on a  ‘both/and’ balanced approach– mainly order and legalization– via executive action. It would be the smart political move and connect with the majority of Americans whose support for citizenship and legal status remains strong and durable and who consistently support a balanced approach over enforcement-only deterrence alternatives (see a detailed public opinion analysis from America’s Voice here and recap of exit polls showing consistent pro-legalization sentiment among segments of the GOP electorate).

Democrats can be on offense now that Republicans have derailed all legislative actions, such as scuttling the Senate border bill filled with GOP priorities for transparent political reasons, and who are now spelling out proposed extreme immigration policies, like mass deportations, that would harm all Americans. In the face of Republican extremism and lies, exploitative ugliness, and transparent political gamesmanship, there remains an opportunity for President Biden and Democrats to lean in, draw forceful contrasts, and push forward popular and good policies that better connect with the majority of the electorate than the dystopic and dangerous vision offered by others.”

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