Montgomery for Congress                                                                      Georgia's 10th District
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Congressman Hice wrong on DACA

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice took part in a “Facebook Live” Q&A with Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona Wednesday night and addressed the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The decision announced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday would end the program in six months unless Congress comes up with a new law to address it. DACA currently applies to roughly 800,000 men and women under 30 who were brought to the United States by their parents or guardians as children but were given special dispensation if they qualified for the program. This includes 23,000 people residing in Georgia.

We are either going to be a nation of laws or we’re not,” Hice said. He went on to talk about the “threat” of so-called “chain migration,” where — he said — an individual could come to this country legally and sponsor up to 273 other family members. Never mind the fact that there is no instance of anything like this occurring.

In fact, a 2006 Princeton University study found that family-based immigration will bring in roughly 2.1 family members to the United States, according to Think Progress. That Hice continues to push this falsehood — as he has since at least 2015 — is evidence of the congressman’s willingness to fear monger against hard-working men and women for a political agenda.

I urge everyone to stop for a moment and try to visualize what these Dreamers’ lives must be like now. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if, through no fault of your own, you found yourself ostracized and facing forcible removal while living in the only country you have ever known? The social, moral, and economic turmoil that will result from this travesty of justice under the guise of “law and order” will be devastating. Simply put, this is neither morally right nor fiscally smart.

The vast majority of American citizens from across the political spectrum say that America is better than this. I certainly believe it is. To treat our neighbors in such a dismissive and thoughtless manner will only serve to further fracture our communities. The values we share are values that call for compassion and understanding, not cruelty. Why are we not demonstrating the values we expect our own children to demonstrate? Where is our faith? My faith calls on me to show compassion and understanding, not hateful and mean-spirited disregard.

We can and should have strong borders. We are a nation of laws. DACA was necessary because our Congress failed to do its job and could not agree on a law that would protect the most vulnerable among us.

While a senator, John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer, but the right answer.”

Now is not the time for us to turn our backs on the Dreamers. Now is the time to do what’s right. The president has left us no choice. There is only one way out of this mess. Now is the time for all of us to push Congress to show leadership and finally, once and for all, get this job done.

Chalis Montgomery