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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s meeting with a DAPA-eligible family on Monday marks the first Presidential election where all candidates from one party have met with immigrant families to hear their personal stories one-on-one.
In November, former Gov. Martin O’Malley kicked off the “DAPA Dinners” campaign by breaking bread with the Ramirez family of Texas. Earlier this month, Sen. Bernie Sanders followed up by meeting with DREAMers and DAPA-eligible parents.
Now following Clinton’s meeting with the Suarez family, we need to ask: Where are the Republican candidates?
Organizers of the “DAPA Dinners” campaign not only extended invitations to all Democratic and Republican candidates running for President, but to all members of Congress too.
As a result, “DAPA Dinners” has also seen participation from multiple other lawmakers, including Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Bill Foster, and long-time immigration champion, Sen. Dick Durbin.
Yet when it comes to the Republican candidates for President, the only official response to a “DAPA Dinner” invitation has been from former HP executive Carly Fiorina — and her campaign’s response to “DAPA Dinners” organizers was a flat-out “no.”
Here’s the thing: Republican candidates have spent the entire 2016 election season so far vowing to end President Obama’s DAPA program, which would protect millions of immigrant families with deep ties to the United States from separation from the only country they call home.
Yet these same Republican candidates still refuse to meet with the very immigrant families who would be impacted by their reprehensible actions.
Of course, it’s much easier to say you’ll undo vital programs like DACA and DAPA when you don’t have to sit and face the immigrant families who are able to work, contribute to their communities, and stay together thanks to DACA and DAPA.
Republican candidates have spent a lot of time talking about fear recently, especially in light of the recent tragedies in Paris and San Bernardino. Maybe it’s time these same candidates build up courage of their own and meet with the immigrant families who will be harmed through their actions.