One of the most inhumane things that a group of political players can do in this country – or any other – is to use children as a pawn in a political game. It is especially repulsive that Republicans in the U.S. have chosen this course rather than figuring out a humane way to reunite the children at the border with their families.
There is no question that our immigration system is broken, nearly everyone agrees on that point.
Last year Congress had a real chance of passing immigration reform. The Senate passed a compromise bill, but weak-knee House leaders were afraid of taking action because of the political repercussions.
The new House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is saying that the first priority is to secure the border. When asked about his previous support on immigration reform, he said: “I’m on record saying nothing about immigration, until we secure the borders. The borders are not secure. Look at the humanitarian crisis that is happening right now along the border states.”
And then we have Congressman Darrell Issa, also from, CA demanding that President Obama deport all DACA recipients.
This is just part of a political game. However, as the Washington Post stated, the humanitarian crisis at the border is an argument to pass immigration reform. So what’s stopping us from doing so? Again, Republicans – the same people who would rather mess with children’s lives than do what is right.
Now Speaker John Boehner has said that immigration reform is dead. They won’t schedule a vote. Now there are no alternatives left – it’s time to put pressure on President Obama to pass administrative relief. But even that has it’s risks since Obama has been requesting funding to expedite deporting children at the border.
These children need and deserve to be treated with humanity and dignity.
We are calling for administrative relief that focuses on giving documents to these children. In addition we also calling for the following:
- President Obama must halt all deportations
- Assure due process of law to all of those currently in deportation proceedings
- Use border funding to increase access to mental and other health related care for everyone
- The President needs to provide relief for all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. and provide a meaningful path against deportation
This is a historical, yet existential fight. As a country, it’s time for us to do what’s right and take leadership. Taking leadership means taking political heat, it means taking the blame from your opposition, but gaining strength from the knowledge that you did the right thing.
We have spent too much time on political theater with the expectation that Republicans would do the right thing. There is no more time to wait.
Today, we must transcend politics and do the right thing.