Palos Verdes Democrats February 2024 Meeting Report

By Nancie Silver—

The Palos Verdes Democrats met in person at the Peninsula Center Library and on zoom on Sunday, February 18. The theme of the meeting was Can comprehensive immigration legislation solve our border and citizenship problems, and the featured speaker was Congresswoman Nanette Barragan.

Congresswoman Barragan discussed the current political climate and its effect on attempts to address immigration reform.  To be clear, the issue of comprehensive immigration reform has been an issue for decades, but one of the biggest roadblocks to making any progress is that Trump, the likely GOP nominee, is running an anti-immigration and anti-immigrant campaign and the current GOP-led Congress is taking its cues from him.

She also explained that the makeup of people coming to the United States has changed. It used to be mainly young men from Mexico, but now it’s also individuals and families from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti, and the triangle countries (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) who are fleeing authoritarian governments and high rates of poverty, those who fear persecution and violence, and others who are facing the effects of climate change. 

Barragan highlighted policies that Trump put in place at the border; these were not to address immigration reform but simply to reduce the number of migrants coming into the country.  He dismantled the asylum system, put in place Title 42, and empowered ICE to deport large numbers of immigrants.  In contrast, Biden has worked to institute a more orderly system of immigration reform, including the customs and border protection app (CPB One app), as well as his many attempts to negotiate and pass bipartisan immigration reform bills with members of Congress.  In the end, Republicans did not pass any of these bipartisan bills because Trump didn’t want them to support them.  Barragan again stressed the fact that Republicans don’t want to do anything to fix the border; they want chaos at the border because it feeds into one of Trump’s big campaign messages about the border. Trump is anti-immigration and anti-immigrant.

Barragan said that Democrats should support these specifics of immigration reform because it’s the right thing to do and because immigrants make huge contributions to the US economy:

  • Expand visa programs in general, not just for high-skill jobs
  • Support a path to citizenship for Dreamers (American Dream & Promise Act)
  • Support the Farm Workforce Modernization Act that describes criteria for individual, spouse, and children to become certified agricultural workers 
  • Utilize more technology at the border 
  • Combat Fentanyl at the border by not allowing so many guns to be sold in Mexico

Be sure to watch the February 18 video to hear the real story of what’s going on in Congress from someone who works there and is privy to behind-the-scenes conversations and actions.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.