With so much work to be done (and undone) under the Biden administration, what is the best way to accomplish these goals? Ortiz believes that the method matters less than the fact that action is taken at all, as pushing for progress at any pace is better than not doing the work at all:
There’s been a lot of discussion about whether we should try to pass one big package or try to break it up into different pieces, addressing DACA recipients and farmworkers all separately. I think what’s important is that in the end, whether it’s a big package or a small package, we just get it across the finish line … and it was good to hear him say … that he wants to get us to that point.
The pair also talked about the significance of GOP Sen. Tom Cotton’s recent bill, which agrees to a national minimum wage that would be pegged to “inflation” but excludes undocumented workers and forces businesses to e-verify their employees. As Ortiz emphasized, this is simply a smoke screen and serves as yet another way to hurt immigrant communities:
They don’t really care about this, especially Tom Cotton, because his buddy Donald Trump hired and exploited undocumented immigrants at a number of his businesses—at his hotels, at his golf courses. So this just seems like a wedge issue, a messaging issue where they want to look like they’re all for the working class but then they want to insert something anti-immigrant in it. And then, to see Mitt Romney join onto this … he goes back to his anti-immigrant roots in joining somebody like Tom Cotton on this bill.
He added, “Teaming up with somebody like Tom Cotton is about as anti-immigrant as you can get in the Senate.” A few years ago, Cotton introduced legislation to limit immigration—a move that was widely applauded by various hate groups.
Lastly, Signorile and Ortiz talked about how the Trump administration also implemented many changes to questions and expected answers on the existing American citizenship test, which the Biden administration has now undone. The Biden administration has decided to go back to a 2008 version of the test, which Ortiz indicated is a positive step.
You can listen to the audio below: