Twenty-two year-old Yolanda Orozco isn’t a criminal or a threat to the U.S. But, Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation wants the Valley High grad and Boise State University student treated like a felon and booted out of the only home she’s ever known.
It’s another disturbing example of Idaho’s lawmakers — Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador — following the GOP fringe into the hate-filled abyss that’s already gifted the country an embarrassing level of congressional dysfunction.
Orozco is a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which essentially lets migrant children — brought here as children through no fault of their own — avoid deportation so long as they show potential of contributing to American society.
But Idaho’s esteemed lawmakers want Orozco and 500,000 other teens and young adults, who only know an American life, expelled.
Their calls to gut DACA are merely a smoke screen designed to sidestep being held accountable for Congress’ abhorrent inaction amid the tragic flood of Central American children into the U.S.
“The crisis we are seeing along our nation’s southern border is a direct consequence of the President’s end-run around Congress to enact immigration reform, in particular the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Crapo said Friday evening, as both the House and Senate refused to actually do anything about the ongoing crisis at the U.S./Mexican border.
Orozco told the Times-News last week she’s afraid for her future with DACA coming under right-wing assault. With representation like this, she should be.
Both the GOP-controlled House and Democratic-run Senate struggled to respond to the crisis caused by tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children flooding across the border. But the fix, according to the White House and both houses of Congress, was to expand a deportation law so it included the children seeking asylum from gang violence, rape and murder.
Even that wasn’t enough flesh for the small, but unfortunately, influential tea party fringe who’ve hijacked the GOP. They wanted even more youthful blood.
After a few secret meetings with right-wing zealot/poster-child-for-what’s-broken Sen. Ted Cruz, they demanded the death of DACA as part of the dead-on-arrival House package. Each of Idaho’s lawmakers jumped on that hateful bandwagon, essentially scuttling any hopes of an immigration compromise between the House and Senate. Eleven House Republicans showed some backbone and voted against the DACA bill. But neither of Idaho’s representatives had a spine.
This sham is another total lack of leadership from Idaho’s federal representatives, especially in the wake of last year’s embarrassing government shutdown, also the handiwork of the House GOP’s tea party wing. It’s time for a stand in the name of reason and compromise against the fringe. Nothing less will do. Simpson talks reasonably about immigration, so his unwillingness to buck his party’s fanatics is especially discouraging.
Ms. Orozco is no criminal. She’s an Idahoan. And we will be damned if she’s treated as anything else.