Reps. Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen must tell us why they voted for a bill that will hurt us
Miami, FL – In response to this week’s immigration-related events such as the Enforce Act approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and President Obama’s announcement regarding deportations, below is a statement from Kathy Bird, South Florida Organizer for the Florida Immigrant Coalition:
Millions of families have waited for immigration reform to pass for decades while the people they love are ripped away from them. Instead of immigration reform, they have only faced more suffering. We received a small respite from fear when President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) after years of pressure from our communities. DACA saved many of our children but none of our parents from cruel deportations. While we think it is a positive sign that the President has finally decided to review his record-breaking deportation system and the powers we already know he has, every single day that passes without action is a day another parent is deported. He must use the power of his pen now.
We know the President has the power to stop deportations, and it was confirmed again by the House of Representatives’ attempt to take that power away. The same House that for over a year utterly failed to do anything to save our families. Yet this week they managed to pass the Enforce Act, a bill that would undo the one helpful thing the President has done to stop deportations. While the Enforce Act doesn’t mention DACA by name, the bill is clearly and explicitly about DACA, as the Committee Report on the bill shows.
Why isn’t Speaker Boehner bringing to a vote a bill that addresses this American crisis? Why would South Florida’s House champions for immigration reform, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, vote for a bill that will hurt our families even more ending our possibility for relief?
One of our members, United Families’ Mauro Kennedy, was in shock as he heard the news:
“These are our supposed champions? Last week they were telling us that the problem is Obama, who has the power to help us but won’t take any action to stop the deportations. But this week they vote on a bill that wants to limit the President’s power to help us. What kind of game are our politicians playing with our lives?”
All of our politicians, from the President to Rep. Diaz Balart, have had ample time for reviews and dialogue with “Gangs” of various numbers. The time for dialogue is over. The time for action is now. We urge all our elected officials to use the power they have to stop the suffering of our families today and without delay. Speaker Boehner must put immigration reform up for a vote in the House now and President Obama must stop deporting America’s families today.
# # #