Congress holds DACA hostage during budget negotiations


Matt Firpo

Opinion Editor

The opposing efforts within parties mark a decisive nature in our leaders and need to be addressed by the people.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has delivered the longest speech on record in the Federal House of Representatives in order to oppose the new bill recently agreed upon by Senate leaders.

This was prompted by the bill’s lack of solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which places more than 680,000 immigrants at risk for deportation.

This kind of opposition within parties isn’t uncommon. Last year, Republicans refused to agree on any sort of change to the Affordable Care Act.

However, this process of bickering, bartering and trading based on the livelihoods of the American people has become a short-lived circus.

There is a need for lawmakers to understand the process of compromise and the urgency for it. There is a month until the fate of more than half a million people, who could be contributing to the country, will have to uproot their lives and return to a country where they aren’t welcome.

Congress desperately needs to address this issue, as well as many others, but not as a wolf pit.

It seems as if legislators have begun to treat every law and right of the American people as a leverage piece, whether it is to gain power over the other party or over voters themselves.

In this case, the lives of those affected by DACA legislation should have never been placed at risk in the first place.  As soon as President Donald Trump rescinded guidance from former President Barack Obama’s administration, Congress should have been ready to act on the law and make a decision then.

Instead, the issue lies unresolved in the midst of another government shutdown.

The purpose of compromise in leadership is to find a solution that settles the issue, while resolving differences between parties.

In the case of Congress, compromise seems to have transformed into an irony, where parties use agreements to stand and to create division.

It is quite appalling that Republican leaders refuse to discuss the issue, and it’s demoralizing to see Democratic leaders in the Senate overlook the issue despite the chance to negotiate on the matter.

Because our current leadership would rather see the government shut down again than see this problem resolved, there is a threat for citizens who have actively worked and contributed to their communities.

Pelosi is fighting for that.

At what point did a politician’s resume not include representing an entire population? Apparently when it meant more for leaders to further a party’s agenda rather than find a stable solution for their constituents.

However, constituents always have the chance for their voices to be heard by their leaders.

Call your senators and representatives in Congress, and let them hear what matters to the people they work for.

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