Juan Escalante: “Give Dreamers, like me, a chance to pursue the American Dream”
A powerful editorial in this weekend’s Washington Post calls on Congress to deliver a vote for Dreamers and explains why forcing such a vote would be an important step forward. The editorial sharply criticizes Speaker Paul Ryan’s failure of leadership on Dreamer issues – a point we have been emphasizing – and captures why it’s time for Republican moderates throughout the country to take a stand and force a vote to protect Dreamers’ futures.
According to Juan Escalante, DACA recipient and Communications Manager at America’s Voice:
House Republicans have a rare opportunity to fix a fraction of the damage that Donald Trump and the extremists in their party have done to Latino, immigrant, and minority communities across the United States. By supporting a vote on Dreamer legislation, moderate Republicans in the House are willingly defying the do-nothing obstructionists in their party, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, in an attempt to give Dreamers, like me, a chance to pursue the American Dream. Failure to display political courage will result in the cruel and inhumane expulsion of millions of young aspiring Americans from their homes and communities, which would undoubtedly spark a swift and aggressive backlash from the sizeable majority of American citizens who wish to see Dreamers shielded from deportation.
Below, we excerpt the Post editorial, “Seven More Republicans Could Force a Vote on ‘Dreamers’”:
Dozens of congressional Republicans have claimed to be concerned for “dreamers” who grew up and attended school in the United States, only to face the threat of deportation thanks to President Trump’s decision to rescind protections they were granted by an Obama-era program. Now they have a chance to prove they meant it.
…A floor vote sounds like a modest goal; a bill would still need Senate support and then a signature from Mr. Trump, whose erstwhile professions of “love” for dreamers have turned to dust. Measured against the inertia and paralysis on immigration enforced by Republican congressional leaders, however, a vote by the full House would count as a breakthrough. It could generate momentum for action, that rare commodity in Washington.
Predictably, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) is aghast at the possibility that a vote to protect dreamers, supported by large majorities of Americans, might be foisted on his Republican caucus in an election year. To Mr. Ryan, doing the right thing is secondary to ensuring that no legislation advance without a Republican majority. Nor is he likely to summon the political courage to challenge Mr. Trump, whose likely price for protecting dreamers has steadily risen, to include billions of dollars to build a border wall, plus draconian restrictions on legal immigration. “I want to have a vote on something that can make it into law,” said the speaker. “I don’t want to have a vote on show ponies.”
Yes, Mr. Ryan has always found a way to sidestep tough votes on immigration and dreamers, despite his professed backing for a bill to protect them. That’s what prompted the handful of Republicans, some of whom are retiring, to force his hand.
…The proposal presents a stark choice to Republican moderates such as Rep. Barbara Comstock, who represents a suburban Virginia district that Hillary Clinton won easily in 2016 — and where thousands of dreamers live. Stay silent, and assent to the potential victimization of hundreds of thousands of blameless young immigrants, Americans in all but the strictest legal sense, who hold such promise. Or muster the political backbone to force Congress to do its job — and vote.