In last few days, numerous takes have saturated both social media and media outlets regarding the dangerous implications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that arose from the minority Democratic leadership’s decision to reopen to government after the Republicans embarrassing failure to keep it open, despite the fact that Republicans completely control Congress.
One such argument that sprung up after the decision was an article ran by Matthew Yglesias, that solely blamed the historical and racist damages carried out by Republicans against Dreamers, while defending Minority Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s failure to protect their lives.
Essentially, to reopen the government, the Democrats needed to conceal, or gain something in doing so. Instead, they gave President Donald Trump his border wall money, while also letting Dreamers become a bargaining chip for the duplicitous, deceitful and decaying corpse of a political hack that is Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Yglesias rightfully argued that Republicans are at fault, pointing out their history of being the purveyors of hawkish immigration laws that are driven by xenophobia and fueled by racism. Yes, it was the Republicans who shut down the Dream Act of 2010, and yes it was a Republican president who heartlessly ended DACA in 2017. In no way is anyone on the left — or anyone for that matter — arguing otherwise. Dreamers’ blood is unequivocally and unquestionably on the hands of the Republicans, but if Schumer’s bet folds, then it’s on his hands, along with the other Senate Democrats who voted yes, as well.
Madison community rallies in support of DACA recipientsIn response to the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, University of Wisconsin students and community Read…
There are two possibilities in this outcome: A win or a loss, but even the “win” is a loss in morality and humanity. McConnell claims they will restart and begin work on immigration and DACA in standard or regular procedure, which means to pass anything in the Senate, there will need to be 60 votes. Supposedly there will be no games, loopholes or any other conniving measure that have been the hallmark for McConnell. Yet, this is all under the assumption that the slimy McConnell will be forthcoming, and willing to act in a bipartisan or respectful manner — something that’s hard to even imagine. After all, it was McConnell who stole former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick from him, and it was McConnell who tried — and failed — to sneak through different healthcare bills proven to be detrimental and disastrous.
So no, the likelihood of such an event is slim to naught. What is more likely is that McConnell and Trump get their funds, and gleefully continue their despotic escapades, which means that Democrats gave in for nothing, a dangerous indictment with midterms looming on the horizon.
But even if the Senate Majority Leader somehow miraculously found the human decency to work in a partisan manner, there’s still a moral failing of the democrats to discuss.
The future and lives of Dreamers, and the future and lives of any immigrant or refugee for that matter, are not something to be used as a political tool. Dreamers are not a pawn to be used to seize leverage — they’re humans. They’re every one of us, and for Senate Democrats to even equivocate gambling with them, or leaving them in the hands of the racist Republican bulwark that is Congress, is an indictment in and of itself.
As Yglesias purportedly argues, Democrats are doing everything they can with their 49-member minority. There’s definitely some validity in this claim, with the Democrats deserving praise for their efforts to not let the Republican health bill(s) pass. And yes, by the letter and by Senate procedure — which is a whole other convoluted mess — there’s only so much they can technically do. Folding to cronies like McConnell does not suggest Democrats are standing for progress or even doing their best for that matter.
What Yglesias doesn’t quite understand is that a recent history of working to advocate for the oppressed doesn’t absolve the Democratic leadership from such an atrocious decision. It’s possible to both oppose the tyranny carried out by Republicans toward immigrant families, and to detest Schumer’s decision, as well.
The left isn’t angry at Democrats and not at Republicans, we are angry at the whole institution that’s led by racists and fought against by those who claim to be progressive. We are angry that human rights are being trampled and that hate has control of the government. We are angry that a politician who has a Twitter picture saying “I stand with Dreamers” would recklessly throw them under a bus in an act of pure hypocrisy. We are angry, and we want human rights to drive action, not political checkers to drive cooperative decisions with a ruling party that so obviously doesn’t care about such issues. Humanity has no borders, and everyone should realize it.
Adam Ramer ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in history and politics.