Funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has of late been turned into political chip in a high stakes poker game. And it’s all because the President has strained the bounds of his legal authority to protect from deportation millions of people unlawfully present in this country. These people, who otherwise would be sent back to their native land, are being rewarded with asylum and residency after breaking the rules to enter America. After many legal scholars questioned Obama’s use of executive power to defer deportations, a federal judge in Texas this week ruled against Obama’s executive action.
While the legal process unfolds, Democrats in the U.S. Senate are blocking efforts to take up DHS funding legislation intended to undo the damage of Obama’s unlawful executive order. I recently wrote a letter to Senator Mark Warner (D) of Virginia and asked him not to stand in the way of allowing this important legislation to come to a floor vote. To Warner’s credit, his staff responded to my letter and said they will consider it. While that’s far from capitulation, it is at least a civil acknowledgment that my constituent concern has been received. The DHS funding issue should be important to all Americans who care about the rule of law, and to Virginians who could face economic consequences if DHS workers are furloughed over this impasse. I encourage you to contact Senator Warner’s office, as I did, and voice your opinion. Points of contact can be found here: http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/officeinformation
A copy of my letter to Senator Warner is below.
From my home in Prince William County, I have seen firsthand the quality of life issues and public sector challenges that come from a heavy population influx of people illegally present in this country. I was at the forefront of this debate as this issue played out in my community several years ago. It is what prompted me to form the “Help Save Manassas” group of concerned citizens. It is in my capacity as a concerned Virginian and an entrepreneur that I contact Senator Warner today.
Having lived through a lawful local immigration policy discourse, I am troubled that the White House is using legally questionable executive action to justify its decision not to deport certain people who are illegally present in this country. Indeed, a federal judge in Texas just enjoined federal efforts to defer lawful deportations and ruled that the President exceeded his authority.
Elected officials take an oath to defend and uphold the laws of this great land. The current administration’s attempts to sidestep proper immigration protocols is a clear violation of that obligation. It is also bad for working Americans. Permitting illegal immigrants to remain in this country means they can become part of the workforce. No one who is illegally present should get the chance to take a job away from an American citizen.
Another class of working Americans who could be hurt by the current brinkmanship in the Senate is Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees. According to Governing.com, nearly 13,400 Virginians are employed by that federal agency. A continued Senate stalemate over legislation funding DHS could lead to furloughs for those workers who are Senator Warner’s constituents. For those reasons, I implore Senator Warner to join the Senate majority so the DHS funding bill can come to a vote.
With Best Regards,
Prince William County resident, blogger and entrepreneur
UPDATE: Warner ended up voting against cloture on the DHS funding bill on February 23rd, maintaining the filibuster that threatens federal DHS employees. I had hoped he might be open to reason on this.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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