May 29, 2019

Beto O'Rourke releases immigration reform plan

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke on Wednesday unveiled a major immigration reform plan focused on tackling the Trump administration's most controversial decisions at the U.S.-Mexico border, reworking the immigration system and improving relations with Latin American nations.

Why it matters: By directly going after President Trump on an extremely hot-button issue, O'Rourke is attempting to position himself as somebody who can take on the president on an issue that deeply matters to many Americans.

  • This is the second major policy plan O'Rourke has released after his climate change proposal, which hinges on a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The state of play: O'Rourke blasts Trump's immigration moves — specifically family separation — as "cruel and cynical policies are sowing needless chaos and confusion at our borders and in our communities." The most immediate tenets of his plan include:

  • Ending the practice of family separation.
  • Rolling back executive orders that make the asylum process much more difficult to navigate for migrants fleeing violence.
  • Repealing Trump's travel ban and border wall funding.
  • Stopping the deportation threat for people already in the U.S. under the DACA and TPS programs.

The plan also includes a push to move toward a comprehensive legislative solution for immigration and naturalization during O'Rourke's first 100 days in office. That plan includes:

  • Creating a pathway to citizenship to those in the U.S. under DACA and TPS.
  • Reforming the U.S. immigration and naturalization system to focus on families, specifically creating a "community-based visa" that would be meant to welcome groups of refugees.
  • Eliminating financial and bureaucratic barriers to naturalization so that people waiting to become U.S. citizens can do so faster and cheaper.

The big picture: O'Rourke also proposes working with neighboring countries in Latin America to improve their internal situations, stemming the flow of refugees and tackling corruption in the region.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Amid racial unrest, a test at the polls

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Eight states plus D.C. are holding primary elections today following a week of intense protests across the country over the brutal police killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: It's the first major test for voting since the national outcry. Concerns over civil unrest and the police — as well as the coronavirus and expanded absentee voting — could reduce the number of voters showing up in person but heighten tensions for those who do.

Axios-Ipsos poll: America’s big racial divide on police, virus

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Note: ±3.2% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A new Axios-Ipsos poll finds that America has a massive racial gulf on each of our twin calamities — trust in police, and fear of the coronavirus.

  • 77% of whites say they trust local police, compared with just 36% of African Americans — one of many measures of a throbbing racial divide in Week 11 of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, taken the week George Floyd was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.