Biden just outmaneuvered MAGA Republicans — and they barely noticed

By | January 19, 2023

Greg Sargent writes:

If President Biden rolls out a major new pro-immigrant policy, and MAGA Republicans don’t make any noise about it, did the announcement happen at all?

Why, yes, it did. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas unveiled an initiative on Friday that would extend more protection against deportation to undocumented immigrants who report labor rights violations by employers.

This is a big move by the administration, one long sought by immigration advocates. Biden’s immigration record is decidedly mixed, but this would address a serious problem: Undocumented migrant workers often fear reporting workplace violations — ones they were victims of or just witnessed — because it could lead to their deportation.

Now they will have improved access to a legal process that can defer their deportations for two years and potentially extend them work permits. The hope: To encourage them not just to report unsafe or exploitative working conditions, but also to cooperate with ongoing Labor Department investigations, improving working standards for all workers.

So far, this policy has sparked relatively little outrage among MAGA Republicans and right-wing media. Yet it has hallmarks that typically anger the right. It would allow some migrants here unlawfully to remain in the U.S. interior, based on the use of prosecutorial discretion to defer deportations, something the right has long raged against. [Continue reading…]

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