14:51 GMT25 November 2020
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    Maru Mora-Villalpando, immigrant rights activist and organizer, joined Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits Monday to discuss the past four years of US immigration policy and how US President Donald Trump’s actions have matched his rhetoric.

    Trump on Friday declared November 1 a day of remembrance for Americans killed by undocumented immigrants as he continues to promise to reinforce policies to curb undocumented immigration if reelected.

    “We are now used to outrageous things that this administration would do just to continue fueling their hate base and anti-immigrant base. It’s not surprising in a way, because one of the very first actions that this administration took when they got to the White House was to create a phone line to report undocumented people,” Mora-Villalpando told show hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber.

    “The reality is that propaganda works for them [the Trump administration], so they will continue going as slow as possible in order to continue creating more base and getting more votes,” she added.

    “I would say they had a lot of successes,” Mora-Villalpando responded when asked about whether the Trump administration’s actions have matched its anti-immigrant rhetoric.

    “I think it was possible because the infrastructure was already there. It didn’t take them a lot of time or a lot of effort to do so. That’s why when [former US President Barack] Obama left, we were saying you need to undo the machine,” Mora-Villalpando added.

    According to the Center for Migration Studies, Trump signed several executive orders in January 2017 that threaten the rights of immigrants and refugees in the US. One order directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to design and construct a wall along the US-Mexico border, and another suspended visa-issuance to the Muslim-majority countries Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. 

    The Trump administration has also attempted tor reject applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era immigration policy that allowed young, undocumented individuals who had arrived in the US as children to be given work permits and a renewable, two-year period of deferred action on deportation.

    “We’ve seen how they’ve come against specific communities … They have been very successful in that. What they’ve not been very successful in is, for example, the building of the wall - because first of all, that wall already existed, but they have not been able to expand it as they wanted to. I think they have not been able to win a lot of lawsuits that they filed. They have not been able to diminish the power of sanctuary cities and the power of states to decide on their own,” Mora-Villalpando explained.

    If Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the election, some positive changes to US immigration policy may follow, Mora-Villalpando noted. She added, however, that she doesn’t have high expectations for a Biden administration.

    “We think that there are going to be a lot of immediate changes, a lot of reversals. Biden has already agreed to some of them … We also know that they are willing to undo the children's detention,” Mora-Villalpando explained.

    “What we haven’t seen is that they are willing to undo the entire detention machine … We have asked for a moratorium of 100 days, the first hundred days of his [Biden’s] presidency to have a moratorium on deportations. We haven’t gotten a complete agreement on that … We don't have high expectations of Biden. We know him as a vice president that protected the expansion of the detention and deportation machine,” Mora-Villalpando noted, also noting that Biden expanded the criminal justice system, to the detriment of Black people.

    “Democrats or Republicans, they have always been against us. This is the reality we face,” she added.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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