For quite some time, Hispanic-Americans have been used as political bargaining chips by MANY politicians.
Although immigration reform is not the sole topic of interest to Hispanics, it is, nonetheless, a historically important one.
To his credit, President George W. Bush was the last president to seriously tackle immigration reform and put forward a bill that, unfortunately, ultimately died due to Congress’s failure to act. And it was President Obama who promised to deliver a comprehensive immigration reform (twice) using it as a get-out-the-vote tool, choosing to use his political capital to promote his healthcare reform at the cost of the many young Dreamers who find themselves in a precarious condition today.
Every compassionate conservative can agree that using the immigration issue to gin up votes and not tackling this pressing problem, as Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference) says is an affront to the sanctity of life, it is inhumane, and the Hispanic community should not stand for it any longer.
I agree with him, given that the federal legislators have time and again, professed concern for Hispanics, have chosen to sit on their hands.
That brings us to President Trump’s move to end DACA while doing so by way of a six-month phase-out, granting these dreamers with a glimmer of hope that Congress will finally do its legislative job. President Trump –agree with him or not– knows how to use his bully pulpit and he might very well be onto something here. Many of us believe that the time may be right for a serious conversation on a sorely needed comprehensive immigration reform by Congress.
If President Trump manages to force Congress’s hand and winds up signing a Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation, it will have the same effect, if not greater for the Nation’s 56.6 million Hispanics. The president has provided Republicans in Congress with a major alley-oop, especially given the prior Democrats’ failures at it, notwithstanding their talking on every side of their mouths.
It is my hope and prayer for every student affected by this situation (at no fault of their own) that Republicans in Congress heed the President’s call, get the job done, and slam dunk this issue to rest.
Abraham Lopez, Deputy Mayor of Westampton Township, is the township’s first Hispanic elected into office. He is also employed in the State Government. The views and opinions expressed are his own.