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Laura Grant, a 47-year-old insurance agent from Phoenix, is concerned about the deteriorating situation at the US-Mexico border and the inability of either political party to address the issue. Democrats have been pushing a bipartisan border bill to address the issue, but Republicans have rejected it, leading to a stalemate in Congress. As the November election approaches, President Joe Biden and Democratic campaigns are hoping to gain ground on immigration issues, especially in battleground states like Arizona.

While some Democrats believe campaigning on border security and legal pathways for migration is a winning approach, others argue that the party needs to emphasize pro-immigrant policies to draw a clear contrast with Republicans. The ongoing debate within the Democratic coalition highlights the complex nature of addressing migration and border issues in the current political climate. Both sides believe their approach is crucial to helping Biden win, particularly in swing states like Arizona where immigration is a top issue for voters.

Immigration advocacy groups like Living United for Change in AZ (LUCHA) are finding it challenging to engage with voters on Biden’s immigration policies, leading them to focus on down-ballot races and local issues instead. While some voters, like Laura Grant and Damon, are still planning to vote for Biden based on other issues like abortion rights, others feel disappointed in his handling of the border situation and may choose to stay home in the upcoming election.

Mainstream Democrats are doubling down on a border security-focused strategy and shifting blame to Republicans ahead of the first presidential debate in an effort to win over voters. However, there are concerns among immigrant rights advocates and some Democratic lawmakers that the party’s border-first strategy may ultimately lead to apathy among voters and a lack of distinct messaging celebrating immigrants’ contributions to the country.

The risk of losing voters like Abigail Gutierrez, a 22-year-old EMT from Phoenix, who is disappointed in the broken promises made by President Biden, highlights the challenges the Democratic Party faces in addressing immigration and border issues. As the parties continue to navigate the political landscape leading up to the election, finding a balance between border security and pro-immigrant policies remains a key challenge for Democrats. The outcome of this debate and the party’s ability to mobilize voters on these issues may have significant implications for the election results in key battleground states.

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