Between Trump’s government shutdown over funding for a border wall, ICE’s unprecedented levels of violence and terror, ongoing mass deportations and heartbreaking family separations, the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies continue to instill fear and cause irreparable damage to all immigrants across the country.
In the February 8 episode of “The Progressive Happy Hour,” cohosts Cici Battle and Drew Courtney talk to PFAW Political Director Lizet Ocampo about what the real immigration crisis is and what progressives can do to support immigrants’ rights.
Lizet explained, “We have a legal process for people to come to the U.S. and claim asylum as refugees. What Trump did is create a crisis, because he essentially wasn’t allowing people to go through that process … Most of the people coming to the border are people fleeing violence in Central America who can go through that legal process and provide claims for asylum.”
Despite Trump’s lies that violent immigrants are making the U.S. dangerous, Lizet shared that “the research shows that a lot of Americans are for a lot of these pro-immigrant policies … A lot of people are pushing a clean DREAM Act bill and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) … Trump wants to create this bogeyman through targeting immigrants and calling them criminals … and it’s all for political gain.”
Lizet urged progressives to raise awareness about the ongoing attacks on immigrants, because “public opinion matters a lot, especially as we head into the 2020 election.” She also encouraged activists to call upon their members of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship. Lizet noted, “[We need to] protect the DREAMers, [call for] a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals who are in our country … and minimize what ICE is doing and the impact of the deportation force on people’s lives.”
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