Nashville - In response to the regional humanitarian crisis in Central America that has led to tens of thousands of children escaping violence, gang conscription, and sexual abuse to make the dangerous journey to the United States, Representative Blackburn has introduced a piece of legislation to deport Dreamers.
Representative Blackburn has chosen to pursue an opportunistic, anti-immigrant agenda by introducing a bill to defund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)--a form of administrative relief enacted in 2012 that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation and gives them the opportunity to work. DACA has been overwhelmingly positive and successful since it was enacted by President Obama in response to Congressional inaction on immigration reform.
Representative Blackburn's assertion that DACA is the root cause of the unaccompanied minor crisis is false, opportunistic, and incredibly dangerous. The fringe anti-immigrant extremists who blocked immigration reform and lack compassion for children escaping violence are on the wrong side of history.
The following is a statement from Stephanie Teatro, Interim Co-Director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition:
Children are fleeing to Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, and the United States because they are desperate to escape violence. Representative Blackburn's use of the crisis in Central America to further her own ongoing anti-immigrant agenda demonstrates a serious lack of compassion and crude political opportunism at it's worst.
We urge Congress to act on real solutions in response to the crisis in Central America--expanding funding to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and not rolling back legal protections for these children. President Obama should provide leadership in response to anti-immigrant legislators like Representative Blackburn by expanding Deferred Action and facilitating a humane response to the crisis of unaccompanied minors in the region.