Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) shamed Republicans for trying to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program Friday evening issuing a statement, even as Republicans pontificated from the safety of the House floor, blaming President Obama for their failure to legislate.
One day after failing to address the humanitarian crisis on our southwest border, our Republican colleagues voted today to remove critical protections for refugees of violence and eliminate the successful DACA program. Thousands of unaccompanied children who have fled violence and threats in their home countries are being met at our southwest border by armed militias.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states:
It is a sad day for our country. A chamber of Congress is poised to send vulnerable children back to danger and possible death. It violates our commitment to human rights and due process of the law and lessens us as a nation. I pray that this legislation never sees the light of day.
We agree. We must address the root causes of migration, not punish these vulnerable and innocent children. Our federal agencies are running out of funding to deal with this unfortunate situation, so we need action now to provide the necessary resources, ensuring protections and due process of our law.
Despite their claims to support our young DREAMers, today’s action on DACA proves Republicans have been working to eliminate it. DACA has been a tremendous success, expanding access to education, employment, and security to hundreds of thousands of young people educated in the U.S who have known no other country. We stand with these courageous DREAMers who deserve our support. My colleagues and I will continue to fight for total immigration reform.
In an August 1, 2014 letter, the Bishops urged the defeat of the GOP bill:
I write to reaffirm the opposition of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to H.R. 5230 and express our opposition to H.R. 5232.
Our opposition to H.R. 5230 stems from four troubling aspects of the measure. First, it would make crippling changes to current U.S. trafficking victim protection law that we fear would send these vulnerable children… Second, it would not provide adequate funding for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to enable it to care for vulnerable unaccompanied children in U.S. custody. Third, its level of funding for ORR is so low that it would severely hamper the agency’s ability to fulfill its responsibility to care for refugees, asylum seekers, special immigrants, trafficking victims, and torture victims. And fourth, the measure contains no provisions to address the root causes that have compelled so many children to make the arduous journey from their homes in Central America to the United States and elsewhere in the region.
Our opposition to H.R. 5232 stems from its elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It is our view that this program has helped protect a vulnerable group of children who for all extensive purposes are Americans. It would subject them once again to removal to countries they do not know. We urge its defeat.
How our nation responds to this humanitarian challenge is a moral test of our national character. We ask that you oppose H.R. 5230 and H.R. 5232, which we feel fail to live up to that test.
Even Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) knows, “These children were brought here of no accord of their own.” The Speaker isn’t a fan of the kind of racism dished out by Republicans like Steve King, but he’s been unable to overcome it policy wise. Republicans like to call themselves the pro-family and pro-life party, but nothing could be more disturbingly further from the truth based on their stand against innocent children.
Republicans have vowed to obstruct President Obama at every turn, and they have been ordered by the Heritage Foundation to gin up false scandals against the President instead of legislating. They have done these things for political reasons, but as they move against innocent children, they are taking their hatred too far.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.