News & Politics

Paul Ryan is Using Strategic Lies to Proactively Help Trump Deport Dreamers

The speaker's actions show a complete disregard for migrant children.

Photo Credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock

Sixteen months ago during a nationally televised town hall, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan assured a concerned Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient that she had nothing to worry about. "I want you to know that DACA has helped me,” she told him last January. Her daughter, wide-eyed, stood next to her. “Do you think that I should be deported?"

"No," he replied. "First of all, I can see that you love your daughter and you are a nice person who has a great future ahead of you, and I hope your future is here.” He doesn’t. Ryan’s effort to sabotage a discharge petition from a small group of moderate House Republicans worked, killing a chance to vote on the bipartisan DREAM Act:

After a series of last-minute negotiations Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cut an immigration deal with his conservative wing to bring a vote next week on two Republican bills designed to bolster enforcement and provide legal protections to so-called Dreamers.

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But as The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim tweets, one of the two proposals from this so-called deal is so far “text-less,” while the second is the dreaded Goodlatte bill—side-eyed by plenty of Republicans—that slashes legal immigration, ramps up enforcement and border militarization, and offers DACA recipients no path to citizenship. No wonder hate groups seemed to endorse it.

“The Speaker is offering vague promises to bring a bill to the Floor that was crafted without Democratic input and to permit the House to vote only on that and on legislation offered by the extreme wing in his party that will not pass,” said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. “This is a pretend attempt to appear that he is addressing the DACA crisis when he is not.”

And this is a crisis. NBC News reports the administration is urging a Texas judge to declare DACA illegal, which would conflict with other court orders that have partially resurrected it. The administration would then go to the Supreme Court “to put a hold on all the lower court rulings. And if the justices agreed, the Trump administration would be free to shut DACA down immediately, because nothing would be in effect to prevent the government from taking that action.” This is a crisis, and one aided and abetted by Ryan.

But there’s plenty of blame to go around. While every single damn House Democrat signed the petition, only 23 House Republicans joined, leaving it just two shy of success, which would have forced a vote on a series of bills, including Goodlatte and DREAM. Yes, Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise blocked the petition, but all that was needed was courage from two more Republicans to buck them. They failed.

“Once again,” said Tom Jawetz of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, “we see that the GOP is the party of Trump. After more than a year of inaction by congressional Republicans, today was the day that we were told the so-called moderates in their party would stand up in defiance of their leadership to demand a vote to protect Dreamers. Instead, they continue to sit on the sidelines, saying and doing nothing, all while holding out hope that the hardliners in the party who wanted to end DACA in the first place might come around to a deal.”

There’ll be plenty of anti-immigrant fearmongering if the House takes up Goodlatte on whatever shit Ryan puts up in the days to come, while DACA recipients continue to wait in limbo for a real solution. Ignore the false promises, the concerned tweets, or whatever assuages Republican leadership has to offer. Unless a real plan comes up, Ryan and his accomplices in the House are helping Donald Trump deport Dreamers. Remember this abdication of responsibility in November.