DA Hispanic Caucus Leadership:
Earlier this week in the U.S. House of Representatives, a joint resolution was passed expressly opposing President Trump’s so-called “emergency” declaration on the southern border. Thirteen Republicans joined a united Democratic majority in supporting H.J.Res. 46, which now heads to the Senate which is expected to consider the legislation in the coming days. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus applauds Congressman Joaquín Castro, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, for sponsoring the joint resolution and congratulates the House for passing it.
Several leaders within the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus offered their thoughts on last night’s historic vote:
“This is yet another completely fabricated claim coming out of the White House. Let’s be clear: persons seeking asylum in the U.S. are not ‘bad hombres,’ but rather human beings deserving to be heard and having to state their case in federal court. Mexico even agreed to host migrants during the asylum process and has offered temporary work permits and public services to them – because they do not represent a security crisis.”
– Lori Smith (DA-México)
“I’ve lived in Mexico for nearly a dozen years. That doesn’t make me an expert on border issues, but the numbers are clear for anyone paying attention. The total number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. has decreased since 2006. Mexicans constitute about half of the total undocumented population and most of the decline is due to the decreasing number of immigrants arriving annually. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, apprehensions every year have declined from a high of 1.6 million in 1986 to a current rate of about 300,000 per year – for the border from California to Texas. If there ever was an emergency, it started to end over twenty years ago.”
– Will Prescott (DA-México)
“There is no crisis. Even by looking at the number of people involved in these caravans, it’s actually pretty small compared to the total number of people who enter the US every year – legally, illegally, or both. And despite the atrocities that many Central American migrants experience, such as rapes or beatings, Mexico is actually doing a lot to help them deal with the situation while they wait to present themselves to the U.S. And despite Republican claims that Mexico is a ‘safe’ alternative for asylum seekers – which is not a realistic option for them – the bottom line is that they must be allowed to seek asylum in the U.S.—as U.S. federal law requires.”
– Sam Stone (DA-México)
“Trump is leading us to an authoritarian regime by using the emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and increase the power of the Executive Branch. Virtually every American in my country of residence believes that the constitutional checks and balances among the Executive Branch, Congress, and the Courts must be respected. While Trump and his right-wing extremist base have chosen to try and force the U.S. Constitution down a paper shredder to build his useless wall, Democrats are proudly fighting back in nullifying Trump’s non-existent ‘emergency’ declaration.”
– Nelleke Bruyn (DA-Costa Rica)
“Yet again, we have witnessed more falsehoods from both the president and congressional Republicans regarding the border ‘crisis.’ Democrats believe in utilizing technology that’s proven effective such as drones, tightening the rules at ports of entry, and many other sensible measures. Fortunately, the House-passed bill clearly shows that this isn’t really about protecting Americans. Even after looking at the administration’s own data, I have yet to see anything of the magnitude of an ‘emergency’ in which the president could justify yanking federal funds from other important resources and using it to instead build his ‘vanity’ wall. Even Republican Congressman Hurd, who represents an enormous Texas border district, strongly disagrees with the president on this issue. Once the president knew that there was no way another country was going to pay for his wall despite his repeated campaign pledge to do so, the American people, unsurprisingly, saw right through it.”
– Michael Ramos (DA-Australia)
The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges the United States Senate to immediately bring up this important, filibuster-proof resolution to a vote so that all members of Congress can be on record as to whether they respect and honor the Legislative Branch as a constitutional co-equal branch of the federal government, or if they choose to believe that Congress should be subservient to Donald Trump.
In light of recent findings about his past behavior, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam must immediately step down for the good of his constituents and for the greater society. The discovery of an old yearbook photograph depicting someone, possibly a younger Mr. Northam, in “black face” while posing next to a person in a Klansman costume has shocked his constituents both at home and abroad. Voters of the Commonwealth living in all parts of the world – regardless of political preferences – deserve to have elected officials in 2019 who reject hatred, racial inequality, and social situations where degrading someone because of his or her skin color is somehow considered “jokingly” acceptable.
For this reason, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus believes there has been an indisputable breach of the public’s trust, and therefore stands with our brothers and sisters in the Virginia Democrats’ Latino Caucus in demanding the governor’s resignation. While not as widely known, Hispanic-Americans have also for over a century faced hate crimes and racism from white supremacist groups.
Furthermore, the state’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, who also faces a questionable past of racial indiscretions, should also immediately vacate office for the same reason. While these revelations about the governor and attorney general have made it impossible for them to lead effectively both as public servants and role models of the values that the Democratic Party strives to project, we will closely monitor the latest news stemming from the lieutenant governor’s situation.
Both Latinx Virginians living overseas and the global Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus strongly believe there must be a consistent high standard of behavior expected from our elected officials. If we are to make progress as a society on the deep and sensitive issue of race, there can be no exception.