What a difference a week makes! Last Tuesday we were teased with the prospect of President Trump wanting to “take the heat” for comprehensive immigration reform - not only regularizing the status of DACA participants but also that of the 11 million other undocumented immigrants in the country. A group of Republican and Democratic Senators developed a proposal which addressed DACA and, as part of a compromise giving up other programs, Haitians and Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status from deportation. At their meeting with the President, Trump suddenly turned hostile to the compromise, objecting to immigration by people from “shit-hole countries” a reference to Haiti, El Salvador, Nigeria and other African countries. This tantrum ended the meeting and hope of compromise.
Trump’s immigration policy is being run through Stephen Miller an advocate of limiting non-white immigration. Trump’s most recent outrageous remarks are consistent with his repeated rejection of any compromise unless it limits immigration from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America. The appeal to his base is simple - "white only" need apply. The official Republican Party is unwilling to oppose Trump’s worst behavior or to take a public stand for ethnic inclusion.
This is a difficult juncture. At MWR we encourage positive politics - including difficult compromises - that move a humane agenda forward. But the immediate political situation has deteriorated badly. Democrats are asking for a solution to the plight of specific people who have lived, studied and worked in the US for decades; Donald Trump and many Republicans want to close the door to non-whites seeking to stay in America or to immigrate to the US.
There is no choice. The Democrats cannot negotiate over racially exclusive policies; our very core commitment to human rights and dignity are at stake. If this means shutting down the government then let the Republicans shut it down. With Republican leadership subservient to Donald Trump and his White Nationalist base it’s time to let them work alone on their self-made problems.
Call To Action
Call both your Senators and your Representative - regardless of their political party - and demand that they fully fund CHIP without cutting other health programs and that they support permanent legal status for all DACA participants and extensions of TPS for Haitians and Salvadorans without funding a border wall.
A Great Time to Demonstrate
Saturday, January 20 is the first anniversary of the landmark Women’s March. Not all local events are listed on their site, so double check for your nearest demonstration by searching directly for “Women’s March Anniversary” with your town’s name.