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Congress and the Trump Administration Fail Young People

Written by Carmen Cornejo

This was a revelatory week. The failure of Congress and the current administration to protect young people was patently evident with the horrific mass shooting in Parkland Florida and the collapse of legislative proposals seeking a solution for young immigrants.

I know those events are vastly different, but the news unfolding this week really tell us about the priorities of the group that has the power in Washington.  They simply do not care about young people.

The USA Congress and White House are only advancing the interests of the richest of Americans and corporations leaving young individuals, the future of our country, hanging out in precarious circumstances.

The lack of courage to pass even the most restrained gun control measures makes possible for a hateful and misguided 19-year-old individual to purchase an AR-15 and stage a carnage at the site of choice for mass murderers: a US high school.

Just days short of a year, Trump quietly eliminated, a common sense regulation from President Obama’s administration that made harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.

According to CNN, had the rule fully taken effect, it would have added about 75,000 names to that database, making them unable to purchase a gun or assault rifle legally.

This may not have prevented Wednesday shooting since the confessed killer hasn’t even been registered as a mentally ill individual, but at least was a step in the right direction. In the current environment, we have nothing.

Now, the DREAMers.

4 proposals in Congress to provide a path to legalization to young immigrants brought as children to the USA failed to garner the support necessary to advance, the result of Congress’ lack of courage and by the active sabotage by Trump.  He reminded members of the Senate and the House that he will veto any legislation that wouldn’t include his high stake demands, including billions for the border wall and dramatic changes to legal immigration.

Trump torpedoed the Deferred Action program who protected young lives in order to do a hostage takeover of the issue. Just as a kidnapper do, he brought extreme demands,  jeopardizing the lives and livelihood not only of DACA-DREAMers but many American children and families.

As a result, the lives of the DREAMers are pending on a soon coming Supreme Court decision to hear the appeal against court-ordered continuation on DACA, bypassing normal appellate procedures.

Even in that setting, the Trump-Miller-Sessions DOJ is attacking young immigrants. In spite of being a very successful program which brings talented job force to our economy, Solicitor General Noel Francisco is asking the Supreme Court to expedite the response seeking prompt relief from “institutional injury to the United States.”

How a Presidential directive to shield from deportation and give a work permit to young, law-abiding and taxpaying people causes injury to the USA, is a mystery to us.

For those of us who believe there is still a better day for the USA, we need to keep working and organize to vote out the current extremist Republicans so Congress and the White House represent the values of the majority of the Americans and protects the young people of this country.