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A Tale of Two Congressional Responses to Immigration Raids

 

In NY-22, Rep. Claudia Tenney is Silent, While in NC-4, Rep. David Price Shows Up and Speaks Out

New York Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-22) has a lot to say. She’s incensed at Canada for a pricing scheme that undercuts New York’s dairy industry. She’s outraged that leaders in New York want to ensure that every driver on the state’s roads are trained, tested, and permitted. She even found time to rail against Governor Cuomo’s executive order restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated American citizens – as if voting rights were not the essence of a democracy.

On the same day that Governor Cuomo issued his executive order on voting rights, he also announced a new executive order to prohibit warrantless immigration raids on state property, and threatened legal action if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to conduct raids like the one it carried out on a Rome, NY dairy farm last week.

Yet on this, Rep. Tenney’s Twitter account, spokespeople, and the Congresswoman herself have been silent. Maybe that’s because her knee-jerk reaction would be to applaud ICE, a move that undercuts the persona she wants to cultivate as protector of the New York dairy farmer.

Contrast Tenney’s non-response to that of North Carolina Rep. David Price (D-04), who is also representing an area reeling from the heavy hand of ICE. Last week, Price attended a meeting at the offices of El Centro Hispano in Carrboro to hear from constituents who had directly experienced ICE’s deceptive and immoral tactics.

In one example, a young woman was tricked by ICE agents into allowing them to enter her home. They claimed they were looking for someone specific and promised not to ask for documentation of anyone else. Once inside, they betrayed their promise to her, demanded papers from those in the house, and ended up arresting both her father and a friend for deportation.

Rep. Price said: “I’m upset with the raids, the detentions that have occurred.  If we’re going to prioritize enforcement of detention, deportation — immigration enforcement — that needs to be focused on people who pose a danger to the communities, who committed serious crimes.”

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deportation Defense Coordinator for America’s Voice, 

“ICE is running roughshod over immigrant families and employers, and it’s up to our elected leaders to hold them to account and rein them in. In North Carolina, Rep. Price is doing his job. In New York, Governor Cuomo is doing his job. In NY-22, Rep. Tenney’s district, she certainly is not. This critical time, with ‘unshackled’ enforcement agents targeting families and workers with impunity, is a moment of truth for our leaders. We will remember who stood up to be counted, and who ducked for cover – and Rep. Tenney, let’s be clear: your silence is deafening.”