This was no ordinary town hall meeting. Three members of Congress came to North Las Vegas City Hall on Monday to listen to Nevadans who had plenty to say on the state of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) on Capitol Hill. They also discussed the real hardship their families and communities face due to sweeping ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids and deportations.
Bryan Rivera shared his story on Monday. He spoke about his mother, who was being physically abused by his father. When she sought a way out, her abusive spouse reported her to ICE. She was then held at Henderson Detention Center for nearly a month, even though she was the domestic abuse victim.
It took Bryan Rivera's testimony at this hearing, then pressure on ICE from Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas), to free Bryan Rivera's mother from Henderson Detention Center. She can now prepare her legal appeal to stay in the US, and Bryan can finally resume his studies at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. But as Jon Ralston pointed out yesterday, they're fortunate in that they happened to meet the right people at the right time. Sadly, most families dealing with our current immigration system are not this fortunate.
And those American families will face even more hardship if House Republicans get their way. They voted last week for two anti-immigrant bills meant to challenge President Obama's ability to use discretion when enforcing current immigration law. Basically, they want to undo DACA. And they want to deport more immigrants like Bryan Rivera's mother.
Just before the House voted on its latest & greatest anti-immigrant bills, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Paradise) had something to say about the House G-O-TEA's latest counterproductive stunt.
And by the way, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Flip-flop) voted for both of the anti-CIR bills. So what part of "can't have it both ways" doesn't he understand?
While Rep. Heck and his fellow G-O-TEA Culture Warriors always have excuses for killing their own damned "principles for immigration reform", they never seem to offer any real reform. And they wonder why no one believes them any more? Must they wonder why a discharge petition for CIR is underway?
If Rep. Heck and the handful of other House Republicans who claim to want CIR actually want to move CIR forward, they know what to do. Too many American families are facing too much unnecessary hardship due to the lower house's inaction. They've had plenty to say on immigration reform. But now, it's time to act (and not in a counterproductive way).