For one, advocates say, the time has simply come. Polling data shows that the country largely objected to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, and in fact grew considerably more favorable to immigration over the course of his administration.
And Democrats are eager to shore up support from Latino voters in particular, who did not back Biden as strongly in November as his campaign had hoped — particularly in parts of Florida, Texas and Arizona. His primary campaign focused significantly less on Hispanic outreach than did that of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Biden’s main rival, who handily won the Latino vote in Democratic nominating contests. Without meaningful action, advocates say, Biden risks causing further disillusionment among Latino voters.
“Latinos — and in our research, even swing Latinos who voted for Trump — want to see Democrats deliver something on immigration,” Carlos Odio, a co-founder of the Latino-focused data firm EquisLabs, said in an interview. “Part of what created an opening for Donald Trump was the idea that both parties were the same on this issue.”