A pro-Biden political action committee (PAC) formed to promote the Biden administration’s successes launched its first video today. The video touts Biden’s family reunification plan. A catchphrase used is “Promises made, promises kept.” Sound familiar? It should. The Trump campaign used it extensively during his 2020 campaign.
The video’s narrator tugs at the viewer’s heartstrings while images of parents hugging children and empty chairs at a kitchen table pop up on the screen. The focus on the family reunification program that is slowly getting underway comes at a time that the Biden administration faces escalating criticism for its handling of the crisis on the southern border. The PAC, Building Back Together (BBT), will use rapid-reaction efforts like this video to spin specific policy issues. Since the border crisis is the one area that is dragging down Biden’s approval numbers, it is not a surprise that family reunification is the first focus.
“Think it’s tough to trust our leaders nowadays?” asks a narrator to kick off the video. “Well, trust this. What candidate Joe Biden says, President Joe Biden does.”
“Starting this week, fathers will return home, children will have their mothers again and spaces left by those we love who were separated from us unjustly will slowly be made whole again,” says the voiceover in the BBT video, over a montage of footage of families reuniting provided by advocacy organizations.
The push is to capture the attention of Latino voters in key states. Democrats know they are ripe for a shellacking in the 2022 midterm election cycle. Republicans are poised to take back control of the House and may flip the Senate, too. The Democrats and Team Biden are focusing on Independents and Republicans who voted for Biden. This video comes from a calculation that both suburban women and urban Latinos will fall for a touchy-feely approach to immigration policy. It’s an interesting calculation because suburban women initially supported Trump because he was strong on border control. Then in 2020, they shifted to Biden, though the family separation policy ended in 2018. Democrats were effective in the narrative that the Trump administration was ripping babies out of the arms of their mothers.
“After years of fear and terror, we finally have a president who recognizes the humanity of every family. There’s more work to do, but the president is already keeping his promise to advance a fair, humane and compassionate immigration system,” said BBT chief strategy officer Mayra Macías.
“We’re telling the story of this policy through its impact on real families, uplifting the new Administration’s commitment to reversing the immoral policies of the last Administration and prioritizing immigration reform early on — a critical part of building back better,” said Macías.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pledged to find a pathway to legal residence for separated families. MSNBC aired a story Saturday on the reunification of a mother, Keldy Mabel Gonzáles Brebe de Zúniga from Honduras, and her two teenage sons. The reunion was filmed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is one of the Biden administration’s first reunification stories. Last week New Yorker magazine ran her story.
Gonzáles Brebe, who is from Honduras, told MSNBC that when she was separated from her children in September 2017, she felt like authorities at the border saw her as a smuggler. The Trump-era policy was designed to dissuade migrants with children from coming to the United States from Mexico.
“They treated me like I was not the mother of my children,” she said.
She headed for the United States in 2017 after witnessing the murder of her brother, the fourth of her siblings to die at the hands of hitmen, she told the New Yorker. Her family lived in hiding, she said, and her husband and eldest son, 18 at the time, successfully made it to the United States.
Gonzáles Brebe arrived at the border in New Mexico with sons Erik, then 13, and Mino, then 15, and flagged down Border Patrol agents to surrender and apply for asylum, she told the magazine. At first, the separation didn’t alarm her as much as it did later.
“They told me it would only be five days, and then they would reunite us so we could be together,” she told MSNBC. “I thought it would be soon.”
If she was treated like a smuggler it is because of the humanitarian crisis of human trafficking that illegal migration produces. In many cases, it is impossible to determine if the adult is really a parent or family member bringing minor children across the border. She was deported back to Honduras and her sons were released to an aunt in Philadelphia. She was chosen to be one of the first four parents to be reunited with their children. In order to make that happen, she was granted humanitarian parole, work authorization, and a three-year reprieve from deportation. You can rest assured that by the time her three-year amnesty period is up, she’ll likely be allowed to extend it while Biden works on blanket amnesty for all illegal immigrants.