Our good friend and fellow advocate, Gaby Pacheco, wrote a very powerful op-ed on CNN.com in response to President Obama’s speech on immigration. We’re posting an excerpt, but all activists should read the entire op-ed. Like she usually does, Gaby speaks truth to power:
President Obama was correct to say the issue of immigration “often elicits strong emotions.” It’s hard to understand why a family would risk so much to obtain so little. And while it’s important to practice compassion, too often the rhetoric becomes hateful, as we have witnessed with the recent SB1070 law in Arizona and its copycats in other states. Sometimes it provokes violence.
In the middle of this divisiveness, there can be hope. But only when politicians, who talk about the broken immigration system and their attempts to reform it, follow their words with actions.
Last year was a year of incomplete actions. When the DREAM Act was finally brought to debate in Congress, it fell five votes short of the 60 needed to end a Republican filibuster. The act would allow people brought into the United States as children to earn legal status by attending college or serving in the military.
On Tuesday, President Obama blamed Republicans for inaction on immigration reform, yet there were five Democrats who could have saved the DREAM Act and didn’t. Both Republican and Democratic senators are at fault for this failure.
We are a nation of immigrants, a nation that dreams, a nation that elects one person out of the many, the president, to guide Congress toward the changes he promised.
We live in a democracy that has three branches of government; I learned that early on in my civics class. Although Congress holds the power to write laws, the executive branch also has power. President Obama has the executive power to stop deportations.