The administration’s new immigration executive orders will result in disaster. Our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, made the case for why in a Washington Postop-ed this week.
While the courts have effectively stalled the failed initial executive order rolled out just days after his inauguration, nobody should be fooled in believing that the pending new order will do anything but put a target on the backs of Latinos all over the country.
The narrative of undocumented immigrants as criminals and cheaters that is being peddled by folks like Donald Trump is false, and there is data to prove it.
This week, at a briefing at NCLR Headquarters, George Washington University Professor Michael Cornfield presented findings of new research that explores the attitudes among American voters toward undocumented immigrants. The data show that most U.S. voters have positive views of undocumented immigrants when it comes to their character, motivation, and impact on our nation.
“Among American voters today, there is a substantial, multidimensional and widespread favorable attitude toward undocumented immigrants,” said Dr. Cornfield, Associate Professor of Political Management and Research Director, Global Center for Political Engagement, The George Washington University. “Political strategists and policymakers should take these majority attitudes into serious consideration.”
The study, “Broad Sympathies and Borderline Myths” shows that most voters see undocumented immigrants positively, saying they are “family- and community-oriented” (71 percent), and “filling jobs Americans don’t want” (67 percent). In fact, a majority of those surveyed (59 percent) disagreed with the sentiment that they are ‘cheaters’ here to just help themselves, or that they “belong to gangs and commit crimes” (56 percent).
To provide some historical context to the report, journalist and Wilson Center public policy scholar Edward Shumacher-Matos joined the panel.
“We have seen Donald Trump types throughout American history make such vile comments and for a while it appeals to people’s fears,” said Schumacher-Matos. “In the 19th century, it appealed to a populist movement that proudly called itself the ‘Know-Nothings’ and who accused Irish Catholic immigrants of being apelike and criminals. But sooner or later, as this poll shows, the vast majority of Americans catch on.”
Katie Packer, of Republican consulting firm Burning Glass, also joined the briefing to underscore that disparaging immigrants is a losing strategy for her party.
“Our study of GOP primary voters in early states along with general election voters in swing states indicates that the strongest candidate is one who supports a multistep path toward legal status for undocumented immigrants, along with much stronger border security,” said Packer. “This combination of accountability and compassion is the sweet spot for a majority of American voters.”
“The findings show that the majority of voters disagree with Donald Trump’s offensive remarks, and that demonizing immigrants will not win the White House,” said our own Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Deputy Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation. “The vast majority of Americans are in a much more pragmatic place than Congress on this issue, and they believe immigrants make valuable contributions to our nation.”
Yesterday evening NCLR and our Affiliate in California, TODEC Legal Center, hosted a Latino Issues Forum at their offices in Perris, Calif. The forum focused on criminal justice issues impacting the state, common core, driver’s license for undocumented residents, and labor rights. Two of our Civic Engagement Strategists, Pedro Silva and Danny Montes also gave presentations on these issues and the impact the policies have in the Latino community. Here are some of the highlights of the event.
Congressman Mike Takano (D-Calif.) gave inspiring opening remarks regarding the fight for immigration reform after the election and congratulated Mirella on becoming a citizen.
.@RepMarkTakano welcomes new Latino citizens in Perris, Calif.: “My grandfather’s dream is your dream. I care for you in my heart.”
Today, our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, join Jose Diaz-Balart on the debut of his new show “Jose Diaz-Balart” to talk about the growing humanitarian crisis on the southwestt border. She was joined in the segment by “Maria,” a teenager who made the perilous trek from Central America to escape severe violence in her home country of Honduras. Maria made a moving plea to be able to stay, convinced that she will be killed if she is deported.