The Republicans, it seems, are determined to drive their respectability and electability into the ground. Three times last week, they pushed for votes on the DHS funding bill passed by the House, which unfortunately contains riders that would end DACA and DAPA — maximizing the deportations of DREAMers and immigrant parents. National security funding is too important to risk, but that’s where Senate Republicans are making their stand anyway. How many more failed votes will Republicans push for? Will they accept that three strikes means they’re out?
Sen. Richard Durbin has been taking to the Senate floor to explain just what a giant mistake Republicans are making. He’s been lifting up DACA stories — the successes of young immigrants across the nation who are living the American Dream because of executive action. Today, Sen. Durbin told the story of Johana, who was brought to the US from Venezuela when she was a child.
Johana grew up in Boulder, Colorado, played on her high school softball team, played viola in the orchestra, and dreamed of becoming a doctor. As she said:
I’ve become a Boulderite in all aspects of that word. That town, with those beautiful mountains, is truly my home.
In 2011, Johana graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double major in Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology, and Psychology-Neuroscience. After graduating from college, Johana was unable to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, because she was undocumented. In 2012, President Obama established DACA. Last fall, Johana Mejias began med school at Loyola University Chicago. After she graduates she has committed to stay in Illinois to practice in medically-underserved communities.
In a letter to Senator Durbin, Johana said:
When the year 2012 came along, my life changed. My dreams of becoming a doctor became a possibility again because of DACA. I was now able to apply to medical internship programs, take the medical school entrance exam, and apply to medical school, all because of my DACA status. DACA has defined my path. DACA has relit a fire within to succeed and continue to pursue my dreams.
But now, Republicans are trying to take away DACA from DREAMers like Johana. And they’re willing to withhold national security funding to get toward that goal. When will they realize that attacking immigrants is not a winning strategy?
Watch Sen. Durbin speaking about Johana on the Senate floor: