What will happen to the DREAMers deferred? Will their faith in America dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Democrats have allowed inaction on the DREAMers, children brought to the United States as undocumented immigrants by their parents, who are currently suffering at the hands of an unapologetically cruel man.
After Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative which allowed almost 1 million DREAMers to live without fear of deportation in the United States and obtain work permits, a six-month window (which expires in March) was allowed to work out a legislative fix. Many Republican figures, notably Jeff Flake, have been ardent in their desire to secure a fix for these kids.
But let’s be real: these are, by-and-large, Democratic voters who make up a sizable chunk of the Democratic base. And Democratic senators, who have the power to force Republican’s hands on this issue, have repeatedly refused to do so.
This is symbolic of the Democratic problem: words, not actions, for communities of color. I wrote about it yesterday with black voters and Doug Jones and I’m writing about it today for a man I worked my ass off for 8 months to help elect: Tim Kaine.
I was a field organizer on his campaign from March-November. For those outside of the world of campaign work, this job is a 12 hours a day, 7 days a week affair that involves frequent, sometimes intense interactions with potential voters. It’s a tough gig.
I didn’t agree with all of Kaine’s positions when I took the job. I still don’t, but budgetary priorities are different than helping out the children of the communities of color that elected you. I’m incredibly disappointed and super pissed that he didn’t double down for DREAMers.
One of the things that Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried to do with Tim Kaine as the vice presidential nominee was use his fluency in Spanish to boost turnout with Latino and Latina voters. What that campaign failed to see was that Latino and Latina voters won’t vote for someone just because they speak Spanish. Like almost every other bloc of voters, they aren’t partisan hacks. They want people to substantively and aggressively address their issues. These frustrations were aired with Obama as well.
Senators may see this issue as a can that can be kicked, however it is decidedly not. Even as lawmakers retreat to their states for the holidays, the Trump administration is cooking up some new and evil ways to punish border crossers.
Urgent action is needed.