Republican Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric in his bid to reclaim the White House is dangerous and dehumanizing, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday, warning that it makes it more difficult for Congress to strike a real border security agreement.
Beshear, whose victory last month in staunchly Republican Kentucky elevated his national prominence, said a balanced approach to immigration is required: one that secures the nation’s borders while acknowledging the significance of legal immigration in meeting business employment demands.
During his term, the governor has mostly refrained from openly criticizing Trump, who remains popular in Kentucky, and has often stated that “strong national security requires a strong border security.” During his first term, Beshear also authorized the deployment of Kentucky National Guard personnel to the nation’s southern border.
However, in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Beshear sharply slammed Trump’s latest anti-immigrant remarks, in which the former president and current Republican presidential front-runner for 2024 discussed “blood” purity, echoing Nazi slogans from World War II.
“They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump remarked of the flow of immigrants arriving in the United States without instant legal status, echoing Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf.”
When asked to reply on Tuesday, Beshear stated, “I believe the rhetoric is dangerous and uncalled for.” We can all have strong feelings about illegal immigration. It is illegal first and foremost, and our laws must be upheld, and we must work together to find a long-term solution.”
“But those are still people, and we shouldn’t dehumanize human beings,” he said. “We should be able to discuss even the most difficult issues without referring to them in this manner.” That is, in the end, the only way for Democrats and Republicans to negotiate a realistic agreement that slows the flow of illegal immigration and fills the jobs where we need immigration.”
In Washington, White House and Senate negotiators have been attempting to strike an agreement on border security that Republicans in Congress have sought in order to unlock President Joe Biden’s request for military help for Ukraine and other national security concerns.
Beshear said a comprehensive immigration agreement should include wording providing a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children, adding, “Now what that path looks like would require people to come together and figure it out.”
“I think we’ve got to acknowledge that they are more American than they are anything else,” he told the audience. “They are human beings who have made this their home.” So, I believe we must have empathy for someone who has lived in this nation their entire life and find the best path for them.”
When asked if he intends to become more involved in national politics, Beshear stated, “We may have some news soon on different ways we can assist others here in Kentucky and around the country.”
He reaffirmed his intention to serve his whole second four-year term, which began last week. In an address broadcast on statewide television Monday night, Beshear outlined his latest two-year budget priorities. He advocated for large pay rises for public education employees as well as state-funded preschool for all 4-year-olds in Kentucky.
“My focus is on Kentucky and being the best governor that I can be and doing the most I can in this time for our people.” The governor went on to say.
Even nevertheless, speculation regarding Beshear’s future beyond the governorship has begun. He railed against the politics of division in his inauguration speech last week, seeming to be aimed as much at the national scene as the one in Kentucky, where he has had a rocky relationship with the GOP-led legislature. In a column headlined “Andy for President?,” a Louisville Courier-Journal columnist summed it perfectly. Beshear’s inaugural speech sounded like a stump speech.”
When asked on Tuesday what a winning message for national Democrats up and down the ticket in 2024 may be, Beshear said the emphasis should be on improving people’s lives.
“On cable news every morning, it’s Democrat vs. Republican or Biden vs. Trump,” he was quoted as saying. “That’s not what people think about when they wake up.”
You consider your employment and whether you are earning enough to sustain your family. You’re considering the road you’re taking to get there, to get your kids to school. You’re concerned about your children’s public education. And the safety of your neighborhood.”
“If Democrats or anyone want to not only win but then to do important things that help people, you’ve got to meet people where they are.” He went on to say. “Focus on the issues that matter most to all Kentuckians, all Americans, and then show up every day and do your best to make their lives better.”