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

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has just unveiled her plan for Immigration Reform. Many political pundits consider that unless there is a major escalation in the ongoing tensions with Iran, the 2020 United States presidential election will be defined by the issue of immigration, which has been the most controversial aspect of the Trump administration, and where the POTUS has focused his reelection campaign. Warren’s plan is bold and big and is based on the principles of human rights and dignity for migrants and refugees. 

The race for the Democratic nomination is a crowded field (perhaps too crowded if the Democrats wish to upstage Donald Trump), but Warren is one of the leading contenders if we are to take the constant attacks that Trump launches in her direction whenever he has a chance (particularly when mocking what he calls her doubtful claim to have Native-American heritage). According to the political website Real Clear Politics, Warren is tied with Bernie Sanders in second place, both around 11 points behind the leader of the pack, the former vice president Joe Biden. It is still too early to tell who will run against Trump, but Warren has charm, intelligence and above all the political savviness to give a good fight to Biden and Sanders, and ultimately Trump. 

This is Elizabeth Warren (in case you have been living under a rock for the past two years or so).

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She is an American politician and former academic. Since 2013 she has been the Senator from Massachusetts, an important state for the federal elections. She has brains, alright? She is a former law school professor and has lectured in universities across the country, specializing in bankruptcy law. However, don’t let her smarts make you think that she is not in touch with everyday voters: she has a long and successful history of working in community organizing, and she knows all about the trials and tribulations of the working class. 

Her grassroots approach to politics reminds some of the 2008 Obama campaign. Yes we can, again?

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Many commentators see similarities in the political careers and beliefs of Warren and Obama. They are both experienced in the Senate and former academics. The Independent even went as far as to say that Warren is the 2020 Obama, explaining: “Both Obama and Warren believe in ending political corruption, strengthening the American healthcare system and economy, restructuring the tax system to unburden the average citizen, eliminating bigotry, and ending the cycle of foreign wars. Obama’s potential constituents were most concerned about the economy, healthcare, education, energy, and Iraq. Today’s liberal voters feel similarly (substituting Syria for Iraq). And they both believe in raising their own campaign funds, though Warren rejects the PAC dollars that Obama didn’t.” 

Additionally, if Obama faced the aftermath of the Great Recession, Warren is facing a humanitarian crisis at the border that is bound to dictate the platform of whoever ends up being the Democratic Party’s candidate (there could be surprises, re: Kamala Harris!). 

If she ends up getting the Democratic nomination she won’t hold back calling out you-know-who.

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Trump and Warren have been adversarial for years now, and Warren has been one of the main proponents of impeachment proceedings against POTUS (she does know the law inside out, so…).  

She believes that immigration reform needs to be a priority for the next president.

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She describes the current policies as a mess. She wrote in a post on Medium: “We must address the humanitarian mess at the border and reverse this president’s discriminatory policies. But that won’t be nearly enough to fix our immigration system. We need expanded legal immigration that will grow our economy, reunite families, and meet our labor market demands.” This is a very intelligent approach to immigration, as it appeals to both those worried about the economy and how the United States can respond to the competition of global markets, and to the voters who consider current zero-tolerance policies, including ICE raids, inadmissible. She vows to “Decriminalize migration and refocus enforcement on serious criminal activity”. 

Her plan for immigration reform is BIG, and would define policies for generations: she wants more opportunities for migrants to enter the country legally.

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Thinking of pure numbers, her plan would increase the intake of refugees from 30,000 a year to 125,000 and then to 175,000 in gradual increments. This policy would provide more opportunities for those who are fleeing precarious situations in war-torn countries and regions savaged by criminal networks and civil unrest, such as Central America, where a high percentage of the migrants who are captured or die in the border come from (you surely remember the devastating photograph of a Salvadorian father and his toddler daughter, who sadly drowned in the Rio Bravo). 

She proposes an approach that puts human values and individual dignity above anything else (so, in short, 100 percent opposite to the current administration’s): this translates into legal changes.

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The biggest legal change proposed by Warren is a restructure of the immigration court system that translates into independence from Justice Department bosses. This would mean that courts who decide the fate of hundreds of immigrants would be more autonomous and not necessarily bend to the pressures coming from the political machinations of the Washington political elite. This would also mean that local judges would have carta ancha to follow their ethical stance in individual cases (and in situations such as the separation of families at the border). 

Under a Warren presidency, the poor conditions of detention centers would be looked at and changed from day 1 and the Office of New Americans would be created.

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One of the main challenges for the country is the assimilation of new intakes into society. Some tend to be resentful and violent towards migrants, and migrants find it hard to get their footing into their new reality. This new office proposed by Warren would be in charge of facilitating integration, including teaching English.

She doesn’t believe in little efforts, but in big changes overhauling of previous policies.

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Under Warren, two of Trump’s most heatedly debated decisions would be given marcha atras. On ine hand, the travel ban (referred to by many as the “Muslim ban”) would end. The termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act, which benefited thousands of Dreamers during the Obama years, would also be overhauled. 

She argues that the United States is enriched by immigrants, their stories and their efforts.

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A big part of Warren’s message is that immigrants are not space aliens, but actually part of the very fabric of the United States. Friends, neighbors and fellow Americans, even if the law or their migratory status might suggest otherwise.

Do you think she has a shot at “the big one”? 

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Few gave any chances to Barack Obama at this stage in 2008, or to Trump in 2016, so Elizabeth Warren is far from being out of the picture. She certainly looks presidential and has stood up to Trump when she has had to, so a Warren presidency is not un sueño guajiro.

READ: Senator Warren Speaks On The Removal Of DACA, Making Her Statement Personal With These Three Stories

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