WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following is a quote from Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum, on Joe Biden’s election as president and a closely divided Senate:
Though division and fear have dominated the immigration debate in recent years, a politically divided government presents an imperative for work across the aisle to create solutions.
As a Biden administration prioritizes battling the pandemic and fostering an economic recovery, it must recognize that immigrants, working alongside native-born Americans, are essential. Despite its popular framing as a wedge issue, immigration is in many ways uniquely positioned to be a win for both parties. New data reinforce that voters across the spectrum support permanent solutions for their immigrant neighbors and that President Trump’s hardline immigration policies made a plurality of voters less likely to vote for him (see data below).
The new administration immediately must work to reunite families separated at the border, begin rebuilding the refugee and asylum systems the Trump administration dismantled and roll back draconian restrictions on legal immigration. Human dignity, family unity and our economy are at stake.
Americans across the political spectrum want an immigration approach that re-establishes our values of compassion, dignity and opportunity. Republicans and Democrats in Congress should find common ground to create immigration policies that benefit all of us.
To start, Congress should cement the essential work of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), who make vital contributions to our communities.
Immigrants are essential, and a smarter approach to immigration will be critical as we recover from this pandemic and for years to come.
We are stronger when all of us can come together for constructive conversations, regardless of the color of our skin, where we were born, or our immigration status. Bipartisanship is the way.
NEW DATA ON VOTER SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRANTS AND IMMIGRATION
- Majorities of Americans say that immigrants are hardworking (86%), have strong family values
(83%), and make an effort to learn English (56%). Among Republicans, 79% view immigrants as hardworking and 76% view immigrants as having strong family values. (PRRI, October 2020)
- 71% of Americans believe undocumented immigrants should be offered a chance to apply for legal status. (Fox News Voter Analysis, October-November 2020)
- President Trump’s hardline stance on immigration made voters less likely to vote for him by a 43%-33% margin. This trend was significant among independents (27% more likely/48% less likely to vote for Trump) and suburban women (27% more likely/52% less likely). (Public Opinion Strategies Key Election Night Findings, Nov. 5 2020)