America Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Unfortunately, House and Senate Democrats have so far refused to direct a single dollar to address the ongoing crisis – most recently by not including the president’s request in an emergency and disaster relief package passed in Congress last week. While Democrats claim they care about the livelihood of children seeking entry, they won’t approve the funds necessary to appropriately feed, house, clothe and provide for medical care. Unless Democrats decide to act in a bipartisan way, it’s not a matter of if but when money will run out and lead to a catastrophic humanitarian disaster. Apart from providing resources for immediate humanitarian needs, lawmakers must work together on long-term fixes for the broken system. That can only happen through comprehensive reform. A few weeks ago, President Trump unveiled a commonsense proposal that includes solutions to secure the border and ensure a fair and lawful entry process for new immigrant residents. I applaud his continued focus on solving problems with the system and seeking to preserve America’s great standing and leadership in the world. Unfortunately, Democrats have yet to engage with Republicans on the immigration reforms that the American people want and need. Just last week, House Democrats instead wasted valuable time on a partisan bill that should be debated within the context of a larger immigration reform effort. Misleadingly titled the American Dream and Promise Act, H.R.6, would grant mass legalization to millions of illegal residents – particularly those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. To be clear, I agree with my Democratic colleagues that we need a solution for these children who were – by no fault of their own – brought into the United States illegally. However, any sort of DACA fix should not be standalone. Rather, DACA should be considered as part of comprehensive reform that puts America first by strengthening security at the border, improving enforcement of existing law and making the system fairer and more just for all. Especially in divided government, successful immigration reform requires bipartisanship – something we have yet to see from Democrats in the immigration debate thus far. Despite the current track record, I remain hopeful that Democrats will eventually come to the table to negotiate comprehensive immigration reform that can pass the Republican-led Senate, receive the president’s signature and benefit the American people.
While it's been a relatively short legislative week, there is still plenty to discuss. Watch my recap! pic.twitter.com/hpxSjrOWfl— Rep. Tom Cole (@TomColeOK04) June 5, 2019
Tom Cole, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, is serving his eighth term in Congress as the elected representative of Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District. He is recognized as an advocate for taxpayers and small business, a proponent for a strong national defense and a leader in promoting biomedical research. He is considered the foremost expert in the House on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. He and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.
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