The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are holding children hostage in order to force political concessions on immigration legislation.
The legislation proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan would put an end to America’s standing in the world as a welcoming nation for people seeking a better life for themselves and their families. It’s not a “compromise” at all. It would wipe out longstanding, bipartisan protections for children and other extremely vulnerable people.
Under this bill, the United States would turn away most children seeking shelter from violence. The few children admitted into this country would be jailed instead of being released to live with family members or other sponsors. Many children abandoned or neglected by a parent – who can now seek legal immigration status on their own – would be blocked from being able to normalize their status and be safe from fears of being deported.
The administration is treating vulnerable children as chits to be traded. For every DACA holder offered legal status, this bill would turn away one or more people who are currently qualified to legally enter the United States, including the parents and children of citizens and diversity visa entrants.
The only appropriate step for Congress to take is to immediately stop the administration from forcibly separating children from their families and to vote on a clean DACA bill.
Photo: AP Images/J. Scott Applewhite