Republicans are busy exploiting the unaccompanied child refugee crisis to advance measures that crack down on immigrants and refugees. From blaming Dreamers and DACA to gutting the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Republicans seem determined to follow Rahm Emanuel’s infamous counsel: “you never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
After a year of dithering, blaming and stalling their way to ‘no’ on comprehensive immigration reform, House Republicans seem to have a bounce in their step regarding action on immigration. They have failed to provide a vote on the bipartisan reform bill HR15, but now they seem hell bent on taking out their hardline policy vision on kids. They want to quickly deport Central American children fleeing violence, they want to take DACA away from Dreamers, who are American in all but paperwork, and subject them to deportation, and they want U.S. citizen kids whose immigrant parents rely on the Child Tax Credit to be poorer.
If Republicans want to deal with the child refugee issue, then they should pass a clean supplemental. We need to resource current law, not change it. We need to make sure children fleeing violence are given a fair hearing, not a cursory interview by border patrol agents followed by a quick return to the conditions they escaped.
But if Republicans want to engage in a larger immigration policy debate, we’re ready. A strong majority of the public and a diverse set of constituencies backs immigration reform with a path to citizenship. HR15 would probably pass in the House if brought up for a vote, and it would modernize our dysfunctional immigration system in a way that serves our interests and reflects our values.
Of course, we don’t expect the House GOP to see the light. We get it. You want to go after kids, blame Obama and deny the country what it wants and needs. It may help you in the short run, although that is debatable. But in the long run, it will doom you.