Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Comentarios from Maria: Republican obstructionism will not squander our dreams

maria

May 19 could have been a transformative day for millions of undocumented immigrants who qualified for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But unfortunately, last Tuesday was a dark day for many in our community, thanks to the actions of a few extremist members of the GOP who cowardly manipulated our judicial system to derail the executive actions of President Obama, which sought to keep immigrant families together while strengthening our economy and national security.

It is often incomprehensible how a party that claims to be the party of “family values” can be so callous and indifferent before the suffering of millions of families who live in fear of becoming collateral damage of our broken immigration system. But last week was a powerful reminder of the double standard that exists within the Republican Party that grants lesser value to our families.

Six months ago, facing Republican inaction on immigration reform, President Obama revealed his plan to provide relief to millions of immigrants, which not only gave our community a reason to celebrate but, above all, gave us hope. Under the President’s orders, immigrant families would be able to feel a sense of security thanks to programs like DAPA, which would halt the deportations of parents of American citizens and/or permanent residents, and would also grant them work permits. However, a group of Republican governors in 26 states ruthlessly snatched away that hope and brought a lawsuit against the actions of the president, which are now suspended until the matter is resolved in the courts.

The GOP’s blindness is so severe that in its eagerness to harm our community, they are not capable of measuring the negative consequences that these actions will have on our economy. According to a study by the Center for American Progress (CAP), the national economy would suffer a tremendous hit if the executive orders continue to be suspended. DAPA would increase the nation’s GDP by $164 million and the income of all Americans would also increase by $88 million during the next decade. Even with these figures in hand, Republicans are incapable of recognizing that the harm and consequences of their imprudence reverberate throughout the entire country.

Moved by sheer political interest, selfishness and selective hearing (only to its extremist base), the GOP has made it their mission to impede any positive development for our community. We only have to look at the recent action in the House of Representatives. About a week ago, Republican members eliminated a simple amendment proposed by Rep. Rubén Gallego (D-AZ 7) that asked the Department of Defense to consider the possibility of allowing DREAMERs to serve in our armed forces. Even when someone has lived here all their life and is ready to risk their life for our country, Republicans devalue and reject these noble proposals.

Republicans like Jeb Bush will try to persuade us that they understand the immigrant experience, but the fact that Bush and other Republican candidates oppose programs like DAPA and DACA is evidence to the contrary. Instead of looking after these immigrants, the Republican camp has elected to serve their fundamentally anti-immigrant base that prefers to relegate our community to the background.

This article originally appeared in Spanish in The Washington Hispanic.