Why Maintaining the Status Quo Remains the Most Radical Option in the Debate
America’s Voice (September 3, 2014)
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Washington, DC – Yesterday, longtime immigration champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) joined DREAMer, Latino leaders and immigration advocates to react to rumors of a potential delay in the Administration’s announcement on executive action; explain why action from the White House is so urgently needed; and discuss why inaction remains the most extreme option in the immigration debate.
Said Rep. Gutierrez, “I want the President to act big and I think it is his interest and the country’s interest to act big before Election Day. Democrats should be clear that we support getting millions of people in the system, registered and checked by the FBI and protected from deportation because it is the right thing to do. And we should put the policy out there, be transparent, and let voters vote. I think they prefer sensible action to solve problems over what we have now. As we learned from DACA, the President and the Democrats do pretty well with younger voters, women, and labor – not to mention Asians, immigrants and Latinos – when we stand on principle, put our values up front and we follow through.”
Added Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy & Policy for United We Dream, “For far too long our families have suffered the consequences of political maneuvers that put politics over families. President Obama has had the tools, legal authority, and time to deliver concrete changes to the enforcement system and relief for millions. The rumors that the Administration might delay does not just mean more broken promises; it means that my mother and millions more will continue to be vulnerable to deportation.”
She added, “Our families need leadership. But where we have demanded leadership and courage, we’ve received false hope and a lack of political backbone. Dreamers say: enough!”
According to Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Vice President for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), “We are deeply disappointed to hear that some may be advocating for a delay. It’s a bad day in our country when the prescription to an acute problem is to ‘do nothing.’ Republican’s own letting the country down on delivering a solution, and their dereliction of duty has made executive action imperative. But if some Democrats step in to prevent action, then they co-own the devastation of the current situation. A bold step is the way to achieve the meaningful benefits of executive action. It will bring sanity to hundreds of thousands of families, citizen and immigrant alike; bring additional tax contributions in our coffers; and improve our security by having a means for people to come forward and get right with the law.”
She added, “Where there is no speculation is the impact that inaction has every day on our communities. A few Democrats shouldn’t stand in the way of bold and urgently needed action. Republicans seem intent on tarnishing their brand; Democrats should not join that race to the bottom.”
Concluded Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This is not our first rodeo when it comes to immigration politics. What we’ve learned over the years is that Democrats win when they lean into immigration and take chances. When Democrats win is when they position themselves as genuine problem solves on an issue that voters want to see solved. Moreover, Democratic voters want to see the President act boldly and do something that will help millions of people. And if the predictable overreaction from Republicans follows the President’s executive action announcement, then that will also help Democrats. The real, tangible reward here is for showing political courage, not for being timid.”
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