Immigrant advocates after PM meeting: Policy ‘next steps’ still unclear
During the meeting, which was with a senior adviser to the president and administration officials who work on migration and policy strategy, Make the Road members warned that ‘the political environment has deteriorated’ with heightened inflation concerns, an unfavorable legal outlook and the Democrats. slim majority in Congress in jeopardy.
Members of the group stressed the need to provide permanent solutions to undocumented immigrants, including those currently receiving temporary protections in programs with precarious futures. In particular, the prospects for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program are uncertain due to legal challenges and future administrations may remove Temporary Protected Status designations for some immigrants, the group noted. . More generally, they urged officials to return to making immigration reform a political priority, before the window of opportunity potentially closes in November.
« While all of this is happening, our members are patiently waiting and pushing for continued immigration assistance, knowing that time is running out, » the group said in a statement at the reunion and shared with POLITICO. « The White House, on the other hand, has been publicly silent on affirmatively shifting or prioritizing any immigration legislation. »
The White House declined to comment on the meeting.
Members of the group said they urged the administration to be more vocal in pressuring Congress to act on immigration reform – as many of the group’s members are among the 11 million undocumented immigrants to the United States who hope to gain access to a pathway to citizenship.
Congress remained unlikely and unable to achieve any breakthrough on immigration that would garner enough Republican support to pass the Senate. Last year, the Senate congressman rejected multiple attempts by Democrats to include immigration reform in their social spending bill.
GOP leaders, meanwhile, have expressed little interest in Democrats’ attempts to reform immigration. Instead, they stepped up calls for tighter border security and urged Biden to keep restrictive Trump-era border policies in place.
Mendez said members of the group left the meeting believing White House officials were willing to schedule more frequent conversations.
Flor Gonzalez, a member of Make the Road Pennsylvania who spoke at the meeting, noted her frustration with the lack of action in Washington, but that she welcomed the opportunity to speak for herself and for millions of immigrants in the same situation.
« Although I can’t vote, I have the power of my voice and I will continue to use it, » Gonzalez said.