Biden’s Latina Advisor Quits — Here’s Why

Biden's Latina Advisor Quits -- Here's Why

Joe Biden’s outreach efforts took a knock this week when his most senior Latina advisor quit his campaign team following disagreements about immigration policy. Biden is trying to be a mainstream candidate who can appeal to actual voters, so he’s avoided the open border immigration policies most of his competitors are pushing. That might go down well with the average American, but it seems to have caused trouble in his own camp. Valerie Cardenas resigned earlier this month — but it’s now emerged that she left because Biden’s immigration ideas aren’t radical enough for her.

Highlights

So far in the Democrat campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden has tried to keep to mainstream positions that might not play well with party activists but are more acceptable to the swing voters who’ll decide this election.

  • On immigration, Biden wants to continue the policies he oversaw under Barack Obama. This puts him at odds with several of the other candidates — particularly Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who’ve both promised to decriminalize illegal immigration and halt all deportations, even of serious criminals.
  • Biden has been scathing about these ideas. In fact, he’s had public run-ins with pro-immigration activists over his refusal to say he’ll stop deportations. His response has been that deportations will be targeted to criminals.
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  • He’s also faced protests from activists unhappy at the record of the Obama administration, which deported around three million people in eight years — the highest rate of deportations in any US presidency. Activists have demanded that he apologizes for this, but he’s refusing.
  • Now it seems this stance was too much for Vanessa Cardenas, the most senior Latina member of Biden’s campaign team. Cardenas joined the team in April, right after Biden announced he was running, but she’s now had enough.
  • Immigration always seemed a likely reason for Cardenas’s departure, because she’s previously worked for left-leaning groups like the National Immigration Forum. Now that’s been confirmed by people who know her.
  • Apparently, Cardenas has major problems with how Biden talks about immigration. She wanted him to show more empathy for those affected by deportations and immigration enforcement.
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  • It’s also been said that Cardenas felt Biden wasn’t taking the Latino population seriously enough. According to another immigration activist who’s a friend of Cardenas, she disagreed with the campaign’s focus on “African-Americans and white Iowans.”
  • So far there’s no sign that Biden feels he needs to change his approach because of Cardenas’s departure, but pressure from immigration activists is likely to dog him through the campaign.

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