Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Comentarios From Maria: Children that Crossed the Border Alone Are Enemies of the State

MC HeadshotThis just in! Children are now enemies of the state! At least this is what Texas Governor Rick Perry believes after calling upon thousands of National Guard troops to “defend the border.” Against whom? Apparently, against children in diapers and ripped Batman and Dora t-shirts.

Governor Perry, give me a break!  The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border has decreased in the last few weeks and no one with common sense would actually think that these children are a threat to our national security.

Although the numbers have decreased, the crisis calls for compassionate solutions based on American and human values. And they should be bipartisan. The time has come to put political games aside.

Take, for example, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. His solution has a draconian focus, demanding that all legislation related to the border crisis include an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows children brought over by their parents, for reasons beyond their control, to stay in the only country they know without fear of deportation. Cruz would deport DREAMers who have yet to apply for DACA benefits.

In his calls for deployment of the National Guard that he believes would dissuade unaccompanied minors and women from crossing the border, Governor Perry holds that President Obama’s petition for emergency funding does not include enough money to secure the border.

The truth is that the President has tripled border resources and has doubled the number of border patrol agents, which is more than any other president in recent history has done. During the Bush administration, the population of undocumented immigrants grew by 3 to 4 million people.

Under President Obama, the undocumented population has decreased. Furthermore, his own allies call him the “Deporter In Chief” for abiding by deportation laws.

So, Republicans, do not complain that you can’t trust the President’s ability to comply with the law. This is just another excuse to do absolutely NOTHING to fix our immigration system.

If the Senate’s immigration bill that both parties passed had become a law, with its powerful measures to facilitate the legal flow of workers through our borders and additional border protection, the United States would have had a clear policy in regards to who can stay and who can’t.

Today, Republicans in Congress not only refuse to present an immigration bill this year, but are also creating obstacles to the emergency funding package of $3.7 billion the President had asked for in the face of the current crisis.

Maybe now Republicans prefer an irresponsible strategy for the border crisis, spearheaded by their extremist and xenophobic wing, designed to galvanize their most extreme voter base ahead of the November elections. But tomorrow they will be sorry when all the paths Republicans could take to the White House are blocked by us, Latinos.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic