Naturalized Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Anti-Immigrant Trump Administration, Rely on President-elect Biden to Deliver Real Reform

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WASHINGTON – As part of the New American Voters 2020 campaign, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) joined Latino Decisions in a teleconference to breakdown the latest voting data from the Latino Decision’s American Election Eve Poll, and discuss the impact of Latino, Asian American and other newly naturalized citizen communities on the outcomes in politically important states such as Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

“More than 25 percent of Latino voters were naturalized citizens and more than half of Asian American voters we talked to were naturalized. The role of naturalized citizens in shaping these outcomes is incredibly important,”  said Gary Segura with Latino Decisions, adding that in his preliminary assessment, the absence of naturalized citizen voters would have yielded a different outcome at the national level. “Minority voters were pivotal in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Wisconsin for both President and Senate and New Mexico for the Senate.”

The results of the poll suggest that new Americans respond to immigration-related issues, and potentially played a key role in securing narrow wins for President-elect Joe Biden in several battleground states.

Laura Martin, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) illustrated the work her organization has done to turn out newly naturalized citizens, “we work in immigrant communities and support New Americans as they practice their full new citizenship rights that include voting. New American Voters are Black immigrants, Asian immigrants, European immigrants; immigrants from all over the world who need support of these campaigns and community organizations.”

The data also corroborates the findings of NPNA’s New American Voters 2020 campaign, a year-long project that profiled naturalized voters in states across the country and urged newly naturalized citizens to register to vote and make their voices heard in the general election.

“Here in Arizona, there’re a lot of naturalized citizens originally from Mexico, so in this election, naturalized citizens did comprise 1 in 10 of the voting bloc so it was important for us to engage them and make their voices heard, added Alexis Rodriguez with Promise Arizona, ”Ultimately they were part of the change we saw here in Arizona. But that change is also a testament to the 10 years of organizing, naturalizing people, registering them to vote and getting them out to the polls.”

“People of color and newly naturalized Americans helped deliver this enormous win for the Biden/Harris campaign. As such, we urge the incoming administration to align themselves with the values of these voters who propel them to victory, and build a future where everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of NPNA.

President-elect Biden has committed to immediately reversing some of the most egregious immigration policies implemented under the Trump administration, including issuing executive actions to permit the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and increase the U.S. yearly refugee admission numbers to the previous levels under Obama.

NPNA and other immigrant rights advocates are calling on the incoming Biden/Harris administration to further commit to promptly enacting other key changes that will not only reverse the damage done over the past four years, but create a more just and welcoming nation for all. Some of those can While some of these policies would require congressional action, many can be done simply through administrative changes.

For immigrant communities, expanding access to citizenship is one of the priority issues on the docket for the new President-elect. First steps include reversing the Trump administration policies that cut off low-income immigrants from naturalization via fee increases and reduced eligibility for fee waivers, and new barriers to passing the  civic test for immigrants with limited English proficiency.

Other NPNA recommendations for the incoming Biden/Harris administration include the adoption of a comprehensive national immigrant integration strategy in collaboration with federal, state, and local  agencies and community-based organizations; and the revival of the Task Force of New Americans as a precursor to the establishment of the National Office of New Americans envisioned in the New Deal for New Americans Act. The Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) in the Senate, provides a proactive and ambitious roadmap that reimagines the country’s approach to immigrant inclusion. If passed, the legislation would increase access to citizenship; expand workforce development and English-language learning programs; ensure access to justice through immigration attorneys, accredited representatives, and community navigators; and restore the United States as a nation of refuge.

The Biden/Harris administration should champion this legislation that will benefit the voters that supported them and the nation as a whole, and seek to include its provisions in the immigration reform package that they have pledged to send to Congress within their first 100 days.

 

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The National Partnership for New Americans is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 41 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 37 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy. More information about the New American Voters 2020 campaign is available at http://newamericanvoters2020.org/