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Will This Be the Year Arizona Turns Blue?

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Arizona has long been a testing ground for anti-immigrant laws and talk, but the state has seen a political shift. Analysts suggests that demographic changes, including a growing number of transplants from more liberal states and Latino voters, are responsible for the shift. This is partially true, but the origins of Arizona’s evolution into a,

Arizona has long been a testing ground for anti-immigrant laws and talk, but the state has seen a political shift. Analysts suggests that demographic changes, including a growing number of transplants from more liberal states and Latino voters, are responsible for the shift. This is partially true, but the origins of Arizona’s evolution into a pivotal battleground state can be attributed to a longer history and a broader cast of characters.

The extremism of the state’s Republican leaders has alienated voters, and given rise to coalitions of Democrats, Independents and even Republicans, who have come together to work toward a lasting political transformation of the desert Southwest. Their efforts have come to bear. In 2011 voters recalled the architect of the nation’s toughest immigration laws, in 2016 they ousted a controversial sheriff, and in 2018, they sent a Democrat to the Senate for the first time in 30 years. Joe Biden is currently polling ahead of Donald Trump.

Arizona’s anti-immigrant surge predates Joe Arpaio, but his election as the sheriff of Maricopa County in 1993 was a galvanizing moment for the activism that is now helping turn the state. In the 1990s, Mr. Arpaio built Tent City, an outdoor Arizona jail that he once described as a “concentration camp.” Under his watch, Maricopa County entered into an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that allowed the local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

Immigrant rights activists led the charge against Russell Pearce, the state senator who sponsored Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, and Jan Brewer, then governor, who signed the bill into law in 2010. Known as the “show me your papers” law, it required the police to verify the immigration status of any detained or arrested person they suspected of being in the state illegally. Its passage was a flash point in the battle over immigration, giving birth to a new generation of young immigrants that organized protests, boycotts, and mounted legal challenges.

That same year, Ms. Brewer also signed a “constitutional carry” firearm law, which grants anyone over the age of 21 the right to carry a hidden, loaded firearm without a license. The shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords just months after the law was signed politicized the issue of gun violence in the state. The debate over guns is especially important in Arizona because shootings by police officers have risen steadily, and the Phoenix Police Department has been called “the deadliest force in the country.”

Like activists elsewhere, Arizonans have protested killings by the police in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. They’ve decried the killings of Dion Johnson in Phoenix, or Carlos Ingram Lopez in Tucson. But residents of Phoenix and Tucson — the seats of Maricopa and Pima Counties, home to three-quarters of the state’s population — have long protested and organized against police violence.

The pandemic and renewed civil unrest have accelerated the sense of urgency, but Democrats have been organizing not just for the moment, but also for the future.

The turning point when Arizona could become blue has been looming over the horizon for some time. President Trump won by only 3.5 percent of the vote in 2016. The 2018 midterm Senate election — when the Democratic candidate, Kyrsten Sinema, defeated the Republican incumbent, Martha McSally — was an important moment in Arizona’s evolution. In the House, Democrats picked up four seats, and today Republicans have only a one-seat advantage.

But even if Arizona has trended toward the Democrats for a while, 2020 “is our time,” said Alex Steele, an organizer with Arizona Ready, a movement working to defeat Mr. Trump in November. Indeed, what’s remarkable is how organizations have formed over the past decade to advocate for the rights of immigrants, workers, teachers, people of color facing police violence and Native Americans.

During a virtual conference hosted by Arizona Ready, earlier this summer, the focus was on the effort to defeat Republicans at the state and national levels. The fact that Mr. Biden and the Senate candidate Mark Kelly part company with progressive organizations on important issues won’t prevent progressives from supporting them. There are just too many “overlapping crises” that will “activate people on the left,” according to Emily Kirkland, the executive director of Progress Arizona.

Without a doubt, Republicans will be mobilized, too. Polls have found that Mr. Trump’s supporters in Arizona are more enthusiastic. Mr. Biden’s support among Latinos, especially Latino youth, has decreased over the past few months. The Covid-19 outbreak has led to a precipitous decline in voter registration in Arizona, and Republican leaders are fighting to make absentee voting more difficult. In a larger sense, it won’t be easy to flip a state that has been reliably conservative for so long.

If Arizona does flip, Democrats would break the hold that Republicans have had on the state since the mid-20th century. A Democratic victory in Arizona may not signal the rise of progressivism that many on the left hope for — and which these times of manifest injustice and inequality seem to demand — but wins there would signal the beginning of an end to the ugliness of the past decade and more. It would be a dramatic reversal of fortunes for a party and a president who’ve long viewed Arizona as a stronghold. In 2016, Arizona’s Republican leaders made Trump the embodiment of all they’d worked for, and it may spell their demise.

Geraldo L. Cadava (@gerry_cadava) is the author of “The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, From Nixon to Trump.”

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump immigration agenda

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BIDEN IMMIGRATION REFORM

President-elect Joe Biden is planning a swift reversal of President Trump’s most controversial immigration policies. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reports the incoming Democrat plans to dismantle within his first 100 days much of the agenda Mr. Trump has laid out over the last four years. Montoya-Galvez joins CBSN to break down Mr. Biden’s immigration plans.

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans to unravel Trump’s immigration policies during his first 100 days

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Great news for DACA and Dreamers.

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Politics / Legislation

Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?

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We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America. We would,

We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind those of our readers who are American citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your civic duty and will help shape the nation’s immigration policy for the next four years. For voter registration information please click here.


Immigration under Joe Biden

If elected President of the United States, Joe Biden has stated that he will enact a number of policies during his four-year term. Among these policies, he promises to take urgent action to undo destructive policies implemented by the Trump administration, modernize the immigration system, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and implement effective border screening.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform

First and foremost, Joe Biden supports working with Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration solution that would offer nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. As vice president, Joe Biden worked alongside former President Obama to push forward a bill that would do just that. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress refused to approve the bill, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants in limbo including Dreamers.

Joe Biden advocates for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program,  the Central American Minors program, which allows parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children from Central America to live with them, and the creation of a White House task force to support new Americans to integrate into American life and their communities.


Overview of Biden’s Immigration Commitments

Temporary Seasonal Workers. Biden wishes to work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow seasonal workers in select industries to easily switch jobs, while certifying the labor market’s need for foreign workers. Employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and ensure the right of all workers to join a union and exercise their labor rights.

High-skilled Temporary Visas. Biden will also work with Congress to reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and create fraud prevention mechanisms. Biden supports expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, eliminating the backlogs.

Legalization for Agricultural Workers. For agricultural workers, Biden would support legislation between farmworkers and the agricultural industry to provide them with legal status based on prior agricultural work history, to ensure a “fast track” green card process ultimately workers them to apply for citizenship.

Removing Per-Country Cap Limitations. Biden is strongly against the current per-country cap visa limitations and the long waiting periods families must wait to be reunited. Biden will support a family-based immigration system allowing any approved applicant to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until a permanent visa is processed, and will support legislation that treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives exempting them from the caps, and allowing parents to bring minor children with them at the time they immigrate.

Preserving the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Biden will continue to support the diversity visa lottery program and preserve the program.

Increase Employment Based Visas. Regarding employment-based visas, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas for permanent employment-based immigration and temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment. Biden would exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields in the US.

New Visa Category for Cities and Counties Seeking Immigrant Work. Biden supports creating a new visa category that would allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrant to support their growth, provided employers certify there are available jobs and no workers to fill them. Holders of these visas would need to work and reside in the city or county that petitioned them and be subject to certification protections similar to employment-based immigrants.

Expansion of U Visa Program. Biden will expand the U visa program to include eligibility for workers who report certain workplace crimes.

Increase visas for Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Crime. Finally, Biden plans to triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas and increase visas for domestic violence survivors.


Policy on Removal and Enforcement Actions

Joe Biden plans to focus his administration on prioritizing removal and enforcement actions on persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety. The Biden administration would not target the removal of working-class undocumented immigrants and their families. Biden also promises to end mass workplace raids and prevent enforcement actions and operations at sensitive locations including schools, hospitals, and places of worship.

With regard to the influx of undocumented immigration from Central America, the Biden administration would address the root of the problem, by securing bipartisan support and funding to countries in the Northern Triangle to help these countries tackle violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and corruption in the region.


Joe Biden’s 100-Day Plan

Within his first 100 days in office, the Biden administration commits to:

  • Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies that have separated parents from children at the border, including ending prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations, and prioritizing family reunification.
  • Immediately reverse the Trump administration’s public charge rule
  • End the “national emergency” imposed by the Trump administration to enable the Department of Defense to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border
  • Protect Dreamers and their families, by reinstating the DACA program and exploring all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation
  • Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by removing roadblocks to naturalization, addressing the application backlog and rejecting imposition of unreasonable fees
  • End the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies
  • Rescind the travel and refugee bans also known as the “Muslim bans” by the Trump administration
  • Review Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations and introduce a bill that will allow TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time, a path to citizenship
  • End the mismanagement of the asylum system to ensure asylum applications are processing fairly and efficiently
  • Increase humanitarian resources at the border through a network of organizations including faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and other organizations
  • End prolonged detention and investment in a case management program, by supporting the Flores agreement which prevents the detention of children indefinitely
  • Restore sensible enforcement prioritizes targeting threats to public safety and national security, and not workers and their families

To read more about Joe Biden’s proposed policies on immigration please click here.


Source: Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?

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