Friday, September 25, 2020

Comentarios from Maria: Republicans Play Russian Roulette with our National Security

MC Headshot

First, I send my heartfelt condolences to families in Paris after last week’s horrific terrorist attacks. As a nation, we are always reminded of the ever-present and growing threat of terrorism that exists around the world. Taking these resurgent threats into account, it is alarming, shocking and irresponsible that the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to pass legislation that conditions the funding of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency created after 9/11 and whose mission it is to protect our country from those who wish to bring it harm.

Although the law would fund the DHS through September, many ultra-conservative members of the Republican Party indicated that they would not support funding unless the bill included amendments blocking President Obama’s immigration plan.

Once again, the Republican leadership chose to appease the far-right and approve anti-immigration amendments that eliminate the necessary funds to implement the President’s recent executive actions which protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The legislation also seeks to override the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Simply put, Republicans want to deport all the DREAMERs.

With this legislation, Republicans have made clear their priorities and, let me tell you, national security is not one of them. They have confirmed that they are willing to play Russian Roulette with our national security, solely to obstruct President Obama and continue punishing the immigrant community. This strategy is not only irresponsible, it is moreover dangerous for our country, dangerous for our families and dangerous for the physical and economic wellbeing of all.

The bill also prohibits U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to prioritize criminal deportations and, in its place, provides the agents with indiscriminate freedom to pursue deportations of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record. On what planet do Republicans live who think this is good public policy?

Clearly, Republicans have not evaluated the consequences of their actions and are unable (or unwilling) to see the catastrophic effects that these measures will have on the families who will be separated, or the millions of young people who have benefited from DACA.

Shortly after the law was passed in the House of Representatives, President Obama wrote on Twitter, “Instead of passing comprehensive immigration reform, the House just voted to roll back progress. It’s time for solutions, not politics.”

I have faith that the President will not allow this destructive plan to become law. Once more, Republicans show us that they are more interested in obstruction than governing. We deserve much better.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic.