FWD.us in NYT: Senate Border Deal Is a Political Trap for Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC – In a new Op-Ed for the New York Times today, FWD.us Vice President for Immigration Policy and Campaigns Andrea Flores explains how anti-immigrant demands from some Senate Republicans will not only devastate our nation’s immigration system for decades to come, but they are purposely designed to spur more chaos at the border in 2024.

“There is too much at stake for Democrats to accept the terms of this Senate proposal,” writes Flores. “[President] Biden must help voters understand that the border won’t change until Congress builds the immigration system our country needs. This political moment demands ambitious solutions that can address the scope of today’s migration challenge, not a set of policies that will keep us stuck in the same failed legal framework of the past decade.”

“The most nonsensical demand in the current border deal is that Senate Republicans want to restrict the president’s parole authority. In January 2023, Mr. Biden announced a series of measures aimed at stemming unauthorized crossings, including new legal pathways for migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua. The president invoked his powers to extend parole to people from these countries who had an American sponsor, giving them permission to work and apply for asylum if they hoped to stay beyond two years. And it worked. The data shows that apprehension of these migrants declined by 92 percent within a year.”

Click here to read the full NYT Op-Ed.

Additional resources from FWD.us:

Memo: The Two Demands Designed to Spur Chaos at the Border and Worse Politics for Democrats in 2024
Policy Brief: Addressing the Challenges of Forced Migration at the Border and in our Communities
NYT Op-Ed: We Know What Doesn’t Work at the Border. Here’s a Better Solution.
Explainer: Restricting Immigration Parole is a Lose-Lose-Lose
Policy Brief: A New Pathway Forward for the U.S.: Why Building Working Legal Pathways Is the Best Policy and Politics Approach to Forced Migration

Other key excerpts from NYT: This Border Deal Is a Political Trap for Democrats:

On passing reforms supported by Americans instead of Trump-era policies: “Over the past decade, Republican leaders in Congress have failed to come to the table to negotiate on immigration policies that Americans support, and yet they have created the false perception that Trump-era policies can solve the border crisis. Mr. Trump’s record on immigration shows it’s just not that simple. The negotiations demonstrate how far the immigration debate has shifted away from solutions that once defined bipartisan immigration reform efforts…”

On current demands to lay a political trap in an election year: “While it is understandable to want to fix the vulnerabilities at the border, Mr. Trump and his advisers have been clear that terrorizing immigrants is central to their second-term agenda. He has promised to round up immigrants in camps and conduct mass deportations. He has accused immigrants of ‘poisoning the blood of our country.’ Mr. Biden has begun his re-election campaign with a promise to protect our democracy from these harms. Yet by compromising on policies that are likely to increase unauthorized migration at the border, he risks emboldening Mr. Trump and his ilk to step up their attacks on immigrants.”

On what these policies would mean if Trump is re-elected: “The proposed deal would simultaneously restrict and expand executive authority. For starters, Mr. Biden could lose key powers that presidents have used for decades to regulate immigration in times of crisis. Worse, if Mr. Trump is re-elected, he will have new tools at his disposal that he could use to terrorize immigrants and make the chaos at the border even more acute.”

On a better path forward: “Instead of what is on the table now, Democrats should learn from past mistakes and fight for a plan that would create more legal pathways, incentivize people to seek asylum at our ports of entry, expedite asylum claims so that people who are eligible can work and contribute to our economy, and deport people who do not have valid legal claims to stay in the United States. Congress must grant Mr. Biden’s request for funding to hire agents and asylum officers to process migrants in a humane and orderly fashion — which a majority of voters support.”

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