Things That Matter

A Protester Demanded Elizabeth Warren Commit To Legalizing All Undocumented Immigrants On Day One

Just one day after Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren announced her plan for immigration reform, a protester interrupted her to demand a commitment to legalizing “all 11 million undocumented immigrants” on “Day One” of her presidency. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was talking about mass incarceration when an activist group redirected her attention to the humanitarian crisis catalyzed by American immigration laws.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

Warren was answering a question about her plan to end mass incarceration at the Netroots Nation conference when an activist group unrolled a massive sign that read “Legalize 11 Million. Reunify All Families. #DignityNotDeportation.” Then, a protester stood on her chair and shouted, “Will you commit to the immediate legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country and the reunification of their families under the Obama administration and the Trump administration?”

“So I want to talk about undocumented immigrants,” Warren responded.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

She launched into a soundbite that offers hope but not the commitment the activist was searching for. “I would like to talk about an overhaul of our immigration system because that’s what we need,” she said. “It starts with the premise that immigration is good for this country. It makes us stronger. It makes our economy stronger, and it ties us to families all around the world.”

By the time the activist was escorted out of the room, Warren had offered a three-part plan.

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“The first part, it starts with, is we need to expand legal immigration in this country. We’ve had families held apart for far too long, and that’s not who we are… Part Two: We need a path, and I will build, a path to citizenship, not just for dreamers, but for families. A path of citizenship that is both fair and attainable. It’s about workers. It’s about people who have been here for a long time, who have become integrated into our society. Part Three is I will stop this ugly mess at our borders. No great nation tears families apart. No great nation locks up children. We must, at the border, respect the dignity of every human being that comes here.”

The activist continued to shout during her answer demanding true commitment to legalize the presence of 11 million undocumented immigrants on Day One.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

By that point, a security officer was standing close to the activist, asking her to let Warren respond. He escorted her out of the room. Once outside, he told her that she should have let Warren respond. She said, “I gave her the opportunity to speak. I don’t need to talk to you. I need to talk to her and for her to commit as the future President of the United States.”

The activist is tired of hearing empty promises. She wants commitment.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

A reporter followed up with her outside the forum. “We need the immediate legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country and the reunification of the families that were separated under the Obama and Trump era,” she told the reporter. “We need that commitment on Day One. We can’t keep saying that we’re going to fix the immigration system without commitment on Day One. This is something that she can do, that any presidential candidate can do, and we need commitment on Day One.”

The protest was organized by the non-profit organization Movimiento Cosecha.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

The organization is led by immigrants, for immigrants. In their Dignity 2020 plan, they list the three demands required by a presidential candidate to gain their endorsement. They need a presidential candidate to commit to: 

  1. “An end to all detention and deportation on your first day in office”
  2. “Immediate legalization for all 11 million undocumented immigrants”
  3. “Family reunification for everyone separated by detention and deportation”

The incident incited both racists and supporters online.

Credit: @mpsmissouri / Twitter

Of course, the majority of responders are MAGA folks degrading the brown body that spoke up and both her and Warren’s intelligence. On the other hand, folks without the privilege of citizenship are disappointed in her existing plan. It does provide a pathway to citizenship and offers more resources by the way of an independent immigration court system, but there are some elements that don’t feel quite right. Que te piensas?

Watch the full interaction below!

READ: What You Need To Know About Elizabeth Warren And Her Newly Unveiled Immigration Plan

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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Biden Administration’s Handling Of The Border Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

Things That Matter

Biden Administration’s Handling Of The Border Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

The Biden administration inherited more than an out of control pandemic when they got to work in January. The former administration also left the Biden administration an orchestrated crisis at the border. For some, President Joe Biden is not acting fast enough to fix the problem.

President Biden announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the response to immigration at the border.

The approach, according to Politico, is going to be a two-pronged approach to effectively curb irregular immigration. First, the vice president will focus on stopping the migration journey by addressing the issues in the countries that people are fleeing. Particularly, Vice President Harris will be focusing on the issues in the Northern Triangle countries, which are El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

At the same time, the vice president will be working with the countries directly to solve the root problems. Vice President Harris will be working to strengthen the nation’s relations with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

“I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this,” President Biden told reporters at the White House.

There is a lot of talk about the U.S.-Mexico border right now from both Democrats and Republicans.

Bruno Lozano, the Democratic mayor of Del Rio, Texas, is calling on the Biden administration to take steps to curb the issue. Mayor Lozano was a guest on Fox News recently and spoke about what he saw as an influx of migrants coming into his town. Mayor Lozano told Fox News that the number of people coming to the border has strained Customs and Border Patrol in his city.

“You have a breach on national security levels that have never before been seen in modern history and you’re not even batting an eye about it, you’re not even calling it a ‘crisis‘, you’re calling it a quote-unquote challenge,” Mayor Lozano, told the New York Post on Sunday. “It’s a slap in the face.”

Some residents of Del Rio are critical of their local leaders shifting blame for their own shortcomings.

The brutal winter storm that recently shut down Texas depleted many municipalities of their resources. Residents in Del Rio are putting the blame on their local leaders who have tried to pass the buck. Weeks after the winter storm crippled Texas, grocery store shelves remained empty and residents felt overlooked.

Mayor Lozano has been pleading with President Biden to step up and help them deal with the influx of migrants. Del Rio has one processing center for migrants and the increase has left the city and the processing facility strained.

The Biden administration has faced backlash after photos of detention centers show people sleeping on floors.

There have been several reports that the Biden administration is building new places to hold migrants that have come to the border seeking asylum. The administration is currently taking in unaccompanied minors who are arriving at the border while preventing other migrants from crossing the border.

The Biden administration promised to change the approach to the border, but Title 42 has been left intact. Title 42, which was enacted by the former administration at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, keeps people from entering the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that invoked Title 42, which closed the border indefinitely due to public health concerns.

At the root of the attention is the claim that there is a surge of migrants.

Some Republican politicians are claiming that news of more lenient immigration laws is prompting a “surge” of arrivals. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California claims that what is happening is a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration.”

Yet, a Washington Post report debunks the idea that there is a sudden surge. Rather, what is happening, according to the report, is a usual seasonal trend. CBP has reported a 28 percent increase in apprehensions at the southern border in January and February but data shows an annual spike in migrants from March to May every year.

The issues on the border are complex and will require a lot of time and energy to handle effectively and compassionately. The Biden administration promised to tackle the complex issue of immigration during the campaign.

READ: Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

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