Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

‘Democrats For Border Security’ task force seeks to redefine the party on immigration

By 37ci3 Mar12,2024



WASHINGTON – A newly formed caucus of House Democrats is trying to change the party’s position immigration appeal to the center and address a major weakness that could shape President Joe Biden’s reelection prospects this fall.

The Democrats for Border Security task force is co-chaired by Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who represents the border region, and Rep. Tom SuozziDN.Y., then turned to the swing district in the hands of the Republicans campaigns on it support for stricter border laws.

They have one thing in common: They’re fed up with the party’s leftward turn on immigration over the past decade and want a change of course to focus on enforcement. Cuellar’s calls for tougher immigration laws go back years. Then Suozzi successfully applied In the suburbs of New York. Both say Democrats must do the same to win competitive House districts and defeat former President Donald Trump this November.

“I think it’s a pretty good way for the Democrats. When it comes to border security, don’t turn the story over to the Republicans,” Cuellar said in an interview. “It doesn’t matter if we’re Hispanic. We want to see discipline. We want to see safety.”

End of January NBC News survey found Trump with a 35-point lead over Biden among voters, asked who they believed would do a better job of “securing the border and controlling immigration.” Trump and the Republicans are putting a lot of emphasis on border crackdowns as they vote voters in the 2024 election.

In a special election last month, Suozzi tried to change the script by going on the offensive about border security. bipartisan bill to enforce tougher asylum laws and portrays his pro-Trump opponent as seeking to exploit the issue for political gain. He also called for more legal avenues for Americans. This worked.

The New York Democrat told the White House he could successfully replicate Biden’s strategy across the country. And he believes the president is starting to do that.

“I think the Democrats are already changing,” Suozzi told NBC News. “Democrats have always been concerned about border security, but now they are more vocal and proactive about it. And I think the president is doing it.”

The new caucus includes 26 members, including a number of Democrats in tough districts, including Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa.; Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Jared Golden, D-Maine; Susie Lee, D-Nev.; Steven Horsford, Nev.; Mike Levin, California; Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla.; and Mary Peltola, D-Alaska. It also includes Reps. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., and Colin Allred, D-Texas, who are running for Senate in border states where immigration is a big concern for voters.

“Look, some of the loudest voices on the border crisis have made it clear they’re not interested in solving it,” Gallego said. “Arizona border officials and law enforcement agencies that I’ve met with are sick of it. “We need to stop the noise and draft a bill on border security.”

Progressive Leader: “We Can’t Be Republican Light”

Some progressives worried about change. Progressive caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said Democrats “can’t be the Republican Light on tough enforcement policies” in 2020 after opposing Trump’s border policies. He wants Democrats to “start making the connection between the chaos at the border and the chaos in the legal immigration system.”

He added: “I’ve asked the White House not to use some of these harsh statements and instead focus on the hypocrisy of the Republicans.”

The shift to the left dates back to former President Barack Obama’s second term in 2012, when he dominated Hispanic voters. The popular narrative is that a more liberal immigration stance is key to winning over more Hispanic voters. Annoyed by activists who have criticized Obama for being too tough on deportations, Democrats have emphasized punishing lawbreakers and focused their rhetoric on creating pathways to citizenship.

But over time, that narrative fell apart as the asylum system became overwhelmed with more migrants than the government could process. In 2016, Trump won 28% of Hispanic voters over Republicans in 2012, campaigning on the mass deportation of people in the United States illegally. This rose Up to 38% for Trump in 2020, following tough immigration policies that include family separation. Various Texas counties along the Mexican border that were once Democratic strongholds have swung Republican.

Cuellar, whose ties to liberals on immigration date back to the Obama era, said the Democratic Party is being misled because Hispanic voters also want to punish lawbreakers.

“It’s a myth,” Cuellar said. “They want border security. Again, treat immigrants with respect, but they want border security.”

He said public opinion has shifted away from Democrats on the issue — not because the party doesn’t support resources for enforcement, but because “Democrats won’t talk about border security” in recent years.

“I’m glad that the White House and other Democrats see this as a very important issue for people — not just people like my constituents at the border, but people elsewhere. So, yes, I see a shift from the White House, which I support,” he said. “I see a shift more to the middle, to the center where most Americans are, than other Democrats.”



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