Rumors of a potential delay of executive action on immigration reform have been swirling around D.C. in recent days. But an editorial from La Opinion the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper today highlights the absurdity of excuses offered to bolster a delay and urges the President to follow-through on his original timeframe for reform.
“The world does not need to be at peace, and political conditions do not have to be ideal in order to do what is right and necessary. Governing requires making multiple decisions and taking action, all at the same time, domestically and internationally. It requires the courage to defend what we know to be right,” the editorial reads.
You can read the editorial in Spanish here. The full English translation from La Opinion follows:
Executive action is needed now!
There is always a reason why this is not the right time to make an immigration change that includes legalizing undocumented immigrants. Somewhere in Washington or around the world, there will be an election or a crisis that apparently requires the president’s urgent and exclusive attention.
However, we are convinced that the time for executive action is now. Every day, people are getting deported and families who have made their lives in the U.S. for years are being split up. That is the reason to expand the suspended deportations available for Dreamers to a larger category of immigrants.
The current face of the undocumented population is a group with roots, much larger than it used to be. A PEW Hispanic Center study released yesterday reveals that in 2012, 62% of undocumented immigrants had been living in the U.S. for a decade or longer, while that percentage was only 35% in 2000.
These undocumented immigrants with jobs, homes and families are among those being deported daily. They are not to blame for the brutality of ISIS, Vladimir Putin’s imperial ambitions, Ebola in Africa, the troubles Democrats face in midterm elections or the arrival of children at the border.
The world does not need to be at peace, and political conditions do not have to be ideal in order to do what is right and necessary. Governing requires making multiple decisions and taking action, all at the same time, domestically and internationally. It requires the courage to defend what we know to be right.
Taking executive action on immigration does not mean that all of the world’s urgent issues get pushed into the background. But it means that events in Ukraine won’t paralyze the White House’s domestic policy.
Undoubtedly, executive action from President Obama will spark previously heard criticism from Republicans, for example about an imperial presidency. Discredited voices in Congress will continue to frighten with lies, like those that warn of ISIS at the border.
Some say that executive action could cost the Democrats the Senate. Nevertheless, no one guarantees that doing nothing on immigration will save them from defeat, which usually happens during midterm elections for the party in the White House.
President Obama and the Democrats have an opportunity to show leadership and make a difference for Latinos between words and deeds. Now is not the time to be scared; it is the time to do the right thing. If Congress does not want to do it, it is up to the White House.