President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies have sparked fresh alarm among Democrats heading into the 2024 election. In recent weeks, amid reports of rising border crossings and increased rhetoric from the White House, Democrats have warned of the political damage caused by Trump’s hardline immigration stance.
The Trump administration’s policies have included attempts to cut legal immigration by halving annual refugee quotas and implementing a range of restrictions on visas for temporary workers. There have also been efforts to limit overall levels of immigration, including an executive order that would have made it nearly impossible for undocumented immigrants to adjust their legal status.
The former president also used his month-long effort to undo President Biden’s immigration policy to paint himself as a hero to the anti-immigrant right, warning in campaign-style rallies that if he weren’t in the White House, Biden would flood he country with “millions and millions” of immigrants.
Democrats have argued that Trump’s actions have directly harmed immigrants, curbing their civil liberties and allowing dangerous conditions to develop in detention centers. On the political side, they have argued that is has further hurt the Republican Party with Hispanic and immigrant voters. Moreover, Democrats contend that Trump has weaponized immigration as a political issue and painted the party of a racist and uncompassionate to immigrants.
This could have dire consequences for the Republican Party in the future, with immigrants continuing to represent a larger portion of the electorate each election cycle. Democrats are already positioning Biden’s approach to immigration as the compassionate alternative to Trump’s hard-line stance, and could use that as a rallying cry heading into 2024.