Friday, January 27, 2023

Newsom slams Republicans for blocking immigration reform during his trip to the Mexican border

During a visit to a state-funded immigrant center serving asylum seekers near the Imperial County border with Mexico, Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized congressional Republicans for politicizing immigration and not supporting comprehensive reforms.

Due to the lack of federal support, the governor said the state has spent nearly a billion dollars working with non-profit organizations to provide health screenings, temporary shelters and shelters to migrants released from federal custody at nine facilities in Imperial. Let’s help contact sponsors in the last three years. , San Diego and Riverside Counties.

“With all due respect to the federal government, we’ve been doing our part in a big way in recent years,” Newsom said. “But we can’t absorb that responsibility.”

The governor visited the center ahead of finalizing his budget proposal for the upcoming financial year. He said the state is facing financial pressure from a projected budget shortfall as well as a potentially increased need for immigrant support services due to changes in federal policy for asylum seekers.

“Everyone has to get out of their ideological positions and face the reality on a global scale,” Newsom said. He criticized the Republican Party and conservative pundits in the media for using immigration as an issue of border security and ignoring the need for comprehensive reform.

In November, a federal judge struck down a controversial border policy known as Title 42, a public health law used by the Trump administration to allow border agents to remove immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic. it was done.

Newsom, who crossed the border earlier in the day to visit the Mexicali shelter, made the trip as he continues to advance the national conversation on the issues at the center of America’s culture wars, as a prominent Democratic voice. raising his profile in the U.S. and increasing speculation about him. Political aspirations.

Dan Schnoor, a professor of political communication at USC and UC Berkeley, said all governors with a significant immigrant population should have a voice in the debate. In California, immigrants make up a third of the workforce.

He said governors eyeing the White House could get additional incentives.

“It’s another example of how Newsom could be endorsing Biden for re-election but also gearing up for a national role down the line,” Schnur said.

Newsom praised President Biden for introducing an immigration reform package early in his presidency and hit out at Congress for not spending more money to support immigrants.

The state began funding services for immigrants arriving in California in 2019 after the Trump administration ended a program aimed at matching asylum seekers with relatives in the United States, the governor’s office said.

“It was based on conversations I had with people on the campaign trail, ‘We’re leaving kids alone at night at Greyhound bus stations, and they’re sleeping on the streets,'” Newsom said, adding that the lack of government support has also made children and families vulnerable to human trafficking.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the state expanded its efforts in 2021 and began working with nonprofits to fund centers that provide immigrants with medical screenings, COVID-19 and flu vaccines, and clothing and Provide basic aids like toothbrush. The three counties have served more than 200,000 immigrants and provided 36,316 vaccinations, according to the governor’s office.

Some centers provide temporary housing, and nonprofit organizations help establish travel connections with immigrants to more permanent destinations, or relocate them to local shelters.

Center staff said Monday that ICE buses to ferry immigrants across the border, and then states and nonprofit organizations transport them to the facility. The immigrants took seats in a large room, where they received medical exams and spoke with staff about other urgent needs.

Pedro Rios, director of the US-Mexico border program for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that advocates for immigrants, said state funding has helped maintain a “small but robust” network of shelters in San Diego County. has helped.

The shelter system has helped families move “from a position of vulnerability to a position of greater security”.

“Thanks to these efforts, many immigrant families have access to health care and legal aid that they otherwise would not have,” he said in an email.

Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services for Jewish Family Services of San Diego, said she believes California, along with other border states, will see an increase in the number of immigrants coming to the region after Title 42 is repealed. Will be seen

The organization operates shelters for immigrants in San Diego County and has received state funding for this work.

“The state has really been an incredible partner in this work,” he said.

Newsom’s administration said the need for those services could increase.

Under a decades-old health law known as Title 42, the Trump administration has been able to use that as a reason to turn migrants away at the border without giving them a chance to apply for asylum or other humanitarian protections. was. Biden announced plans to lift the public health order in April and has faced legal challenges from red states who argued it would create chaos.

In November, a federal court sided with the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit challenging the law, which once again allows immigrants to access asylum protections in the United States to fear being returned to their home countries. Will open the way to increase.

In California, it’s anyone’s guess to what extent Newsom plans to ramp up support services for asylum seekers and other immigrants, as the state projects a $24 billion budget deficit in the next fiscal year. The governor is expected to release his spending plan for the next budget year in January.

Although in May the Newsom administration projected a surplus of $97 billion for the summer, the Federal Reserve’s efforts to raise interest rates to curb inflation prompted the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to forecast the weakest economic outcome ever. Did “the state experienced a massive recession.” Revenue is expected to be $41 billion less than forecast during the current fiscal year and through the summer of 2024.

Knowing that California’s fiscal heyday would end at some point, Newsom and lawmakers limited current budget money to one-time funding for new programs. The LAO said the state should be able to cover almost the entire deficit from its general purpose budget reserves.

But budget analysts have warned that the deficit could grow if the US economy goes into full recession and have advised lawmakers to pause, delay and re-evaluate some budget priorities. The governor and state lawmakers have already approved a plan to extend Medi-Cal eligibility to all immigrants through 2024, which Newsom reaffirmed on Monday.

He said, ‘I am committed to this.

Newsom’s appearance at the border made him one of the most high-profile Democrats to visit in recent times, at a time when Republicans have seized on immigration as a political issue and sought to attack the Biden administration and Democrat leaders. made a tool for

Biden visited Arizona last week and faced criticism from Republicans for not stopping at the border, which he has not done since taking office in 2021. Announced plans to expand a second facility and invest more than $40 billion in the state.

Newsom traveled to El Salvador in 2019 to better understand the forces driving immigration to the United States. His support for the Central American country stood in stark contrast to then-President Trump’s threats to revoke deportation protections for Salvadorans and cut foreign aid.

Nation World News Desk
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