'Tone Deaf' WH Ceremony Honoring Amnesty Recipients Could Worsen Border Crisis
In what was called a "tone deaf" ceremony that will only lure more illegal immigrants to sneak into America, the White House honored Monday ten DREAMers who received temporary amnesty under President Barack Obama's unilateral Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
All of the honored DACA recipients at the "Champions of Change" ceremony at the White House have been immigration activists, including a reporter for ThinkProgress and someone who advised Virginia's attorney general to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), who is the Vice Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, accused the White House of engaging in "exactly the type of tone deaf messaging fueling the unprecedented surge of immigrant children being smuggled across our southern border" by "flaunting the success stories of ten immigrant children who entered the U.S. illegally."
“How can we expect to dispel rumors throughout Central America that children who enter America illegally will be allowed to stay while simultaneously touting the success stories of a few illegal immigrant children granted de facto amnesty by the administration?" Miller said. "The sad truth is that most of the children being smuggled across the border today, in unprecedented numbers, will not have similar success stories."
Dayana Elvira Torres, who was honored at the event, has "worked closely" with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, the Democrat who unilaterally granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in Virginia immediately upon taking office. In addition to pushing Herring to act on the issue, she has also "lobbied Congress" to pass comprehensive amnesty legislation. Esther Yu Hsi Lee is an immigration reporter for the left-wing ThinkProgress, highlighting the stories of DREAMers and influencing the debate on amnesty legislation by writing for a site that liberal politicians go to to get their talking points.
Kamal Essaheb works for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), where his "advocacy focuses on passage of the DREAM Act, implementation of DACA, and state and local enforcement of immigration law." Hector Salamanca Arroyo "meets regularly with policy makers to advance immigration reform and the DREAM Act" and "has become a leader and organizer among other DREAMers and young undocumented students in central Iowa."
Others are involved with various left-wing activist organizations focusing on empowering DREAMers.
Steven Arteaga works with Mi Familia Vota (MFV) "to empower and engage members of his community to continue to bring about positive social change." Ana Zaragoza also does canvassing and recruits volunteers for the organization. Pratishtha Khanna works with the "API Youth Convening-DACA Collaborative planning committee and the Maryland Dream Youth Committee (MDYC)." Anahi Mendoza has "served as the director of Act on a Dream," which is "a student organization dedicated to advocating for comprehensive immigration reform and providing resources to undocumented students at the college and throughout the nation."
Two other DACA honorees have used their experiences as illegal immigrants who received temporary amnesty to advocate for other DREAMers. For instance, Sarahi Espinoza created a website, Sarahi.tv, to educate DREAMers about "scholarship opportunities available to them." Rhustie Marcelo Valdizno "advocates for humane immigration policies through sharing his experiences of being undocumented."
As Democrats and Republicans push amnesty legislation while Obama threatens to unilaterally ease deportations, illegal immigrants from Central America are being told – even on their local newscasts – that they will not be deported if they can make it across the U.S.-Mexico border.
On last Sunday's Al Punto program, a mother whose son was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol said that her son made the trek from Honduras to America because he believed the Obama administration would not deport him. Illegal immigrants have been flagging down border patrol agents to receive what they believe are "permits" to indefinitely remain in the United States. Though the "permits" are actually documents requiring the illegal immigrants to show up at immigration hearings, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said that many have already been skipping these hearings and that there was "no way" that most of the illegal immigrants who are given the "permisos" will show up to their scheduled hearings.
Miller said that as "tens of thousands of these children are being put at risk of violence, sexual assault and even death," the White House should instead advertise in Central American countries to remind people that U.S. law regarding amnesty has not changed. She said those advertisements should also tell parents thinking about sending their children to America that "if they send their children unaccompanied by their parents to our border they will be putting them at grave risk.”