Yet the House of Representatives seemed intent on beating the Senate to the punch. The Democratic-run Senate is expected to back the immigration reform measure, with its fate in the House uncertain.
OR IS IT?
Because the House on Thursday made a point of passing its own measure related to immigration policy. They amended a bill related to the budget of the Department of Homeland Security to say that young people who were brought to this country by their parents without a valid visa CAN be deported.
That spits right in the face of the executive order that President Barack Obama issued last year that said those young people could stay, provided they registered with the federal government and met certain conditions – such as obtaining a higher education or military service.
Which means all those people who have registered have now provided the federal government with all the personal data about themselves – including where they can be found.
IF THAT INFORMATION now gets used against them, it literally will confirm the worst fears that many Latinos had about cooperating with Obama’s effort.
Not that the Republican ideologues who pushed for this measure care. Because their sole goal is to dump all over Obama’s desires on this issue, which include trying to find ways to legitimize people who are already in this country, capable of making more of a contribution to our society than many native-born people, and for whom the only reason to exclude them are the ideological ethnic hang-ups that some of our political people have.
Of course, we should realize this Republican policy (the vote on Thursday was largely along party lines) is NOT going to occur. When it goes to the Senate, the Democratic majority there will do what is possible to stall the measure. It will not get a vote.
In fact, it probably will never be heard from again.
BUT WHAT WE heard of it on Thursday was foul enough. Because what it was is nothing more than those ideologues making a hostile statement. They’re showing that they’re likely to vote against anything related to immigration reform because they don’t want to be bothered with the policy.
Or maybe they’re paranoid enough knowing these new young people have more potential than the young people who are just like themselves!
What it definitely shows is that for all the rhetoric about how the Republicans “learned a lesson” from the 2012 election cycle about the significance of the growing Latino population at the polling place, it would seem they learned the wrong lesson.
They saw a growing population that can (and will) influence our society. But since they don’t want to hear that message, the GOPers are now desperately trying to find ways to thwart that influence.
WHICH MEANS NOTHING has truly changed. A Republican Party seems so desperate to appeal to the ideologues that they’re resorting to measures such as this – which is nothing more than an effort to make those partisans believe they’re in this fight, to the death.
Personally, I think we should remember this message that House Republicans sent out this week. It is one we should remember – at least in terms of Latinos knowing who our “friends” truly are.
And perhaps on those future Election Days, we may have to send a stronger message in response. Because ultimately, the way we get through to a government official is to dump them from office for their nonsense.