UPDATE: We just got word from reps from the Wendy Davis campaign that Wendy has called on President Obama, in the form of a letter, to provide attorneys guardian ad litem for unaccompanied minor children immediately. This would be a major improvement and would be absolutely essential granted that the Obama administration is going to send more immigration judges to speed up these people’s deportation proceedings. Read more on the lupenet.org website here.
Original post follows below.
This is disturbing. When I heard the news that Wendy Davis was going to address the humanitarian crisis of the refugees arriving to the RGV, I was hopeful she would draw a clear line between Rick Perry and Greg Abbott’s “secure our borders, Obama’s not enforcing the law” political grandstanding. I never would have received her to join their charge.
“Federal border agents and facilities are overwhelmed trying to address this human crisis instead of focusing on their first priority to secure our border from drug smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists,” the democratic candidate for governor wrote in a letter to governor Rick Perry.
Wow. So you’re back tracking from your previous stance on Abbott and Dewhurst’s DPS border surge, opening yourself up to “flip-flop” criticism. Plus you used Abbott’s call for border security in the RGV to rally border Latino voters to your side, so your flip-flop makes you look like you’ve abandoned us.
But there’s more.
“I agree that this is a federal issue. While I believe it is imperative for the state to act in the short-term, we need the federal government to do its job — including sending more immigration judges to the border,” she continued in the letter.
For those who don’t know, more immigration judges is fine, but only if there is more legal aid. In refugee crisis situations such as these, the minimum the U.S. should do, to comply with international law and basic human decency, is to screen for asylum and refugee status. The federal government does not have to give legal aid, which would help refugees make their case and have a shot at winning and staying in the U.S. So basically a call for more immigration judges without a call for additional legal aid means a faster deportation process. So she wants to deport them back to the extreme violence they’re fleeing. WTF.
Then, in possibly the most ridiculous move, she called for a special legislative session to address the crisis.
What the heck? What does Wendy Davis expect to come out of a legislative session on immigration and the border? A special session would open the legislature to a flood of anti immigrant bills. We’d see a repeat of 2011, when more than 90 anti immigrant bills were introduced, many just as bad as Arizona’s SB 1070, others a lot worse. Back then, the anti immigrant bills had a whole slew of regular bills to compete with for attention and fortunately we were able to keep them from getting passed. But with a special session just for border and immigration issues, we wouldn’t stand a chance against the vitriol and filth coming from racist republicans like Debbie Riddle (Tomball, TX).
All this while advocating for these refugees to be processed and deported faster with no call for legal aid to help them with their asylum and refugee cases.
On Wednesday, Wendy Davis will be celebrating the one year anniversary of her historic filibuster for women’s rights and women’s health with filibuster anniversary parties throughout the state. I for one will not be attending. I will be in mourning of the death of her campaign’s integrity.
I’ve gotten some feedback and need to correct that a special session would not necessarily open the legislature to a flood of anti-immigrant legislation. Possibly more likely would be a few key anti-immigrant bills slash the inclusion of anti-immigrant provisions into the bills passed to address the crisis.
Also, I spoke to an immigration lawyer who told me that only people who have been harmed based on specific grounds under the law–race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group or political opinion–are entitle to asylum/refugee status. Those refugees that have viable claims to asylum/refugee status need lawyers, so we would need pro-bono or government paid attorneys (which is not a right of immigrants) for these refugees to have any shot at winning their case. But Humanitarian or Temporary Protective Status type relief would be essential in this crisis, since immigration courts are hostile to claims of gang violence as a basis for asylum.