Rep. María Elvira Salazar (FL-27) provided a critical vote to help deliver the passage of H.R. 2, also known as the Child Deportation Act, in early May 2023. The bill is not a serious policy proposal for addressing the challenges at the border. It’s all politics that is far too often laced with rhetorical echos of white nationalist conspiracies that create the climate for hate-fueled violence.
Over the months where it wound its way through the House and from the very beginning of the debate over the Child Deportation Act on the House floor, Salazar’s Republican colleagues promoted the bill with white nationalist conspiracy theories about “replacement” and “invasion” that have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks.
Salazar last year introduced an immigration bill that she pitched as “The Dignity Act.” The bill, her office said, offered a “reasonable and compassionate approach” to issues plaguing our current immigration system. She got some good press out of it, but a closer look revealed that it contained a provision that made accessing the pathway to citizenship within the bill just about impossible. Still, “The Dignity Act” was dead on arrival anyway, following McCarthy’s vow to never let “amnesty” bills get a vote. And providing a critical vote for H.R. 2. Salazar is showing us exactly where she stands when legislation is more than idle talk.
Salazar sided with the extremists and obstructionists. Salazar provided a critical vote to gut asylum, increase child and family detention, and create a show-me-your-papers scenario in the midst of future natural disaster relief efforts. Beyond cruelty, this bill does nothing to create solutions. Its centerpiece is, again, Trump’s wasteful and ineffective wall. Meanwhile, the GOP legislation would destroy legal pathways, including parole programs that create new legal pathways to the U.S. that alleviate pressures at the border.
Actions speak louder than words, and Salazar chose party over the communities and businesses he represents.