During his run for the office of president in 2008, Barack Obama promised comprehensive immigration reform and immigrants responded in droves. At the time of his victory, Democrats controlled Congress—both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Instead of immediately using that opportunity to push through immigration reform, Obama instead choose to take on the complex issue of health care reform, making an already intricate, costly system more complicated and expensive.
Eight years into his administration, immigrants are still waiting for the promise of immigration reform to be fulfilled. Obviously, the Obama administration will be unable to deliver on that promise after being blocked on all sides by Republicans blinded by fear and hate of the rise in the power of brown and Black Americans.
But the Democratic Party stands a chance of being able to deliver what Obama could not. With xenophobic Donald Trump now the presumptive GOP front-runner, it appears that the Republicans’ chances of taking back the White House are shot to hell. And worst, they may likely lose control of the House, where they have done nothing but block every rational idea for the past eight years.
So here we are, with an energized immigrant voting bloc, ready to use the power of their vote to silence the Trump followers and GOP this November, and the Obama administration decides to drop a “nuke.”
That nuke came in the form of news from Reuters on May 12, 2016, that the administration, via its Department of Homeland Security, plans to carry out a series of large-scale raids in May and June “to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally.”
Is this an Obama move or a Trump move? I’m lost and can’t tell the difference right now.
I’m unsure which idiot decided this move, but he or she needs to be fired on the spot, and the president needs to immediately insist that the news report is false and the administration will not deport innocent women and children.
To not dial this action back right now is to nuke the Democrats’ chances of winning in November. The message tells immigrant voters to stay home, which is not a message that should be coming from the White House five months before the most important election of our lives.
Both Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have quickly denounced the plan and rightly so. Even if it’s a hypocritical and clearly political move, both realize the importance of this election and can see the devastation this action will cause.
Clinton insisted in a statement that she is “against large-scale raids that tear families apart and sow fear in communities.”
“I am concerned about recent news reports, and believe we should not be taking kids and families from their homes in the middle of the night,” CNN quoted Clinton as saying. “Large- scale raids are not productive and do not reflect who we are as a country.”
Sanders went a step further by urging Obama to use his executive authority to protect families by extending Temporary Protective Status for those who fled from Central America.
Will the president listen or will he screw the Democrats’ chances of winning the presidency and taking back the House this November?
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.