, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Here is a thread with a few thoughts on the immigration discussion last night…. /1
First, YES to more questions about President Obama’s catastrophic failure on immigration. There should be more discussion about his deportation policy, legislative approach, & political strategy. If we don’t get this empirical diagnosis right, we are doomed to repeat failure. /2
On this, if Biden is just gonna demur by claiming dude-bro level fealty to his former boss, then he needs to be asked what, if any, will be the proper role for his VP in developing and implementing immigration, refugee, and border policy. /3
(Will it be more hastily-produced Skype chats done from the basement of the White House and seen by only 25,000 people repeating highly problematic talking points? Remember this in 2013? I do). /4
If Biden won’t discuss Obama’s approach, Castro should. We know he didn’t speak up while in the cabinet. BUT we know he was first to put out a good and bold platform. Now let’s measure the depth of his commitment to reversing criminalization caused in part by his former boss. /5
So, for example, will Castro commit to the muscular use of existing executive legal authority to bring people home who were wrongly deported? People like immigrant rights leader Claudio Rojas? /6 miamiherald.com/news/local/imm…
By the way, all candidates should be asked about the interrelation of legislative strategy, administrative policy, and narrative. In so many ways, the latter two are much more important than the first. /7
Remember, it isn’t just that Obama deported millions, militarized the border, radically mutated law enforcement by creating polimigra infrastructure; he also squandered political capital, failed to use bully pulpit, & left behind a political environment where Trumpism thrived. /8
Speaking of this legacy and the intersection of criminalizing rhetoric and policy, can we talk for a second about how truly disappointing it was to hear Elizabeth Warren use that line about terrorists, criminals, and 12 year old girls? That was really dispiriting. /9
I really hope someone on Warren’s team— perhaps a former student of hers, wink wink subtweet— is writing a short memo right now about why that single pithy line is so insidiously counterproductive. /10
I’ll skip Yang because frankly he needs to get his weight up. Return to Obama levels? What was that? Almost as perplexing as his sweepstakes. Almost. /11
Okay, so to me, "Alcalde Pete" gets the prize for saying the single most important sentence of of the night…: /12
“[W]e cannot allow this continue to be the same debate with the same arguments and the same clever lines often among the same people since the last real reform happened in the 1980s.” Amen. A thousand times amen to this. /13
It is undeniably true there needs to be a reset in how Democrats & immigrant rights lobbyists approach the issue. Part of this reset MUST involve recognizing a topic that is a taboo in DC: namely the failure of the “CIR or nothing” campaign. Props to Mayor Pete for raising. /14
So, just for example, the idea that the Obama Administration did not have the votes and the political capital to pass the #DreamAct (and Ag Jobs...) in its first two years is ludicrous. A bet was made on CIR. That bet did not pay off. It fact, very much the opposite.… /15
BTW, here’s an idea for Mayor Pete: You're right about the need to anchor the reset w/ values that overlap between big cities and rural America. So, while Kobach, Coutler, and Thiel are raising $ in NYC, you oughta do a town hall on immigration in Kansas. Live stream it! /16
(Yeah, you read that right: Coulter, Kobach, and Thiel are throwing a fundraising party in New York City) /17 politico.com/story/2019/09/…
Re Beto: I want to hear more from him on immigration, particularly after his recent awakening and also recognizing that he unseated a former member of the border patrol on his way to Congress. He was woke on immigrant rights before others. And now he’s extra woke. /17
(And to be clear, I wasn’t using “woke” pejoratively in this context :) /18
By the way, ABC: What’s up with your transcription?


You lack the ability to transcribe the Spanish? Como se dice “Get your weight up?” en Español? /18
So that leaves Harris, Sanders, Klobuchar, and Booker. None of them got a single question on immigration and border policy. I love @jorgeramosnews, but this is not okay. /19
@jorgeramosnews Here’s hoping there's a better and more thorough debate on immigration the next time around. Because Trump is winning. Immigrants and the whole country are losing. Democrats need to find their voice. And soon. /end
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