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White House touts new Biden immigration policy on undocumented spouses of American citizens

New Biden program protects undocumented spouses
Biden announces executive action protecting undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens 02:31

With less than five months until the general election, President Biden announced sweeping federal action that will give undocumented spouses of American citizens who have lived in the United States at least 10 years a new path to permanent residency and, in time, legal citizenship. The plan could not only bring citizenship to some 500,000 spouses who qualify but also to roughly 50,000 children, and shield them from deportation in the meantime.

"It's important that communities really see that the president is fighting for issues that matter to them and to their families," said Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez in an exclusive interview with CBS News.

"For families who are eligible for this new executive order, they will be able to sleep better tonight, knowing that they have an opportunity to help ensure that they are not separated by cruel policies, they will be able to maybe hug each other a little bit tighter, knowing that they can remain together as a whole family here in this country as a result of this executive order," she said.

Chávez Rodríguez also drew a contrast between actions taken by the Biden administration and those of former president Donald Trump. She told CBS News political director Fin Gomez, "It's also a stark reminder of the extremely cruel and chaotic family separation policies that we saw from Donald Trump's administration," adding, "I think we can all remember those images of literally crying babies being ripped from their mothers' arms."

Meanwhile, in Racine, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, Trump knocked the new Biden immigration policy. "One of Crooked Joe's most destructive moves yet is the lawless executive action," Trump said, promising to undo it if he is elected in November.

"He's going to formally grant a mass amnesty to millions of illegal aliens that came into our country," Trump falsely claimed, adding, "I think a lot of them are going to vote for me."

Mr. Biden drew a majority of Latino voters in 2020, but Trump continues to make gains within the community. According to a CBS News poll from earlier this year, Mr. Biden's support among Latino voters has dropped by 12 points since 2020. 

While it's unlikely that Trump will win a majority of the Latino vote in November, some of his allies tell CBS News they believe a Hispanic vice presidential running mate could help peel Latino support off the margins and help win battleground states like Nevada and Arizona, which both have a large Latino electorate. CBS News has reported previously that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has risen to the top of the Trump's running-mate shortlist, along with several other Republicans.

Still, Chávez Rodríguez says she isn't worried about the potential impact of a Latino vice presidential contender like Rubio on the Republican ticket. "I don't think that there's any one individual or frankly — any one speech or any one thing that anyone can do, including Donald Trump or his campaign, that will — hide the fact that he despises my community."

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