If you listen to any of Trump’s speeches, you’re likely to hear a reference to “family values” or Trump’s declaration of commitment to helping families in the U.S. thrive. But this sentiment is not reflected in his policies, especially his policies toward immigrant families. The framework for immigration reform released by the White House is blatantly racist and decidedly anti-family—no matter what Trump reads off the teleprompters.
Family reunification has long been a central tenant of American immigration policy. In fact, it was made the focus of immigration policy through the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which eliminated the overtly racist national origin quotas and focused on family-based migration. Trump’s proposals would tear families apart and ensure currently separated families remain that way. A former federal appointee under George W. Bush’s administration wrote an op-ed for today’s Washington Post, explaining how the proposals would “have crushed [his] family.” And these plans wouldn’t just have a devastating impact on families and communities—it would change the entire make-up of the United States, making our country less diverse. A new report from the Center for American Progress finds that the “cuts to family reunification and the diversity visa program alone would reduce the future immigration flow by 35 percent.” Additionally, these cuts would “disproportionately impact black and Hispanic immigrants, resulting in declines of 64 and 58 percent, respectively.”
With debate over immigration reform continuing on the Senate floor today, it’s important to keep these things in mind when we hear senators use terms like “chain migration.” To see some of these commonly-used terms decoded, check out our graphic here.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#DreamActNow. Senators are on the floor right now debating the future of immigration policy in America—make sure your voice is heard! Call your senators at 202-224-3121, and tell them to reject Trump’s nativist, racist policies. Demand that they #ProtectDreamers!
“Blue Apron-Esque.” Conservatives love to boast about personal freedom—but that freedom seems to be something that only people who can afford it are allowed. A new proposal in Trump’s budget plan would switch EBT benefits for food assistance to “a box of government-picked, nonperishable foods every month.” It doesn’t get more paternalistic than that. The box would include non-perishable goods, meaning no fresh fruit or vegetables. Have an allergy? It’s unclear if that would be accommodated. Don’t have a permanent residence? Looks like you’re out of luck. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney described the program as a “Blue Apron-type program,” but this is a highly misleading comparison. There’s practically no comparing the US’s critical food assistance program, in which benefits average just $1.40 per person per meal—and is now facing huge funding cuts of $214 billion under the Trump administration—to a luxury meal kit that costs $10 per meal. Check out just some of the lingering questions about this proposal here and here.
Russian Interference. Today, the intelligence chiefs testified in the Senate Intelligence Committee, warning the members of Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections. The chiefs said that Russia will act again because “Russia believes its interference in the 2016 presidential election largely achieved its chief aim — weakening faith in American democracy.” They also noted that Russia may even target state elections. Although Trump may brush off such warnings, the reports highlight the need for greater election security and the continuation of Mueller’s Russia probe. To see how your states fares in election security, check out this new report “Election Security in All 50 States” from the Center for American Progress.
UNDER THE RADAR
No Federal Assistance. In another blow to students’ civil rights and protections, the Department of Education issued a statement that they would no longer consider or investigate complaints regarding access to bathrooms by transgender students. This is a reversal of Obama-era guidance that said students should use the bathroom that corresponded with their gender identity. This is a devastating blow to transgender and non-gender conforming students who are seeking equal protection. Senator Patty Murray said of the decision that “choosing to ignore the rights of transgender students and to not enforce Title IX when it comes to their protection is an unambiguous step backwards for civil rights in this country.”