First Latina Senator’s Bill Attempts To Rescind Trump Deportations

Editor
By Editor March 4, 2017 08:59

First Latina Senator’s Bill Attempts To Rescind Trump Deportations

By Liz Goodwin

First Latina Senator’s Bill Attempts To Rescind Trump Deportations

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a freshman senator from Nevada and the body’s first-ever Latina member, aimed her maiden bill squarely at President Trump.

The bill rescinded Trump’s executive order making nearly all of the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants priorities for deportation and defunding so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with federal authorities’ immigration actions. With the Democrats in the minority in the Senate, the bill has a near zero chance of passing, but Cortez Masto felt she had a duty to speak out.

“He’s trying to paint this picture of undocumenteds as criminals, people who are taking away jobs and depressing wages,” Cortez Masto told Yahoo News on Thursday.

She continued: “That’s not true. In fact, many of the people in my state who are undocumented … are hard-working families who brought their kids here for an opportunity for the American dream.”

Cortez Masto’s grandfather emigrated from Mexico to Nevada and became a U.S. citizen. She says she sees the situation of hard-working undocumented immigrants in her state as no different from her own family’s immigration story. She said she introduced the bill “to let those families know I’m fighting for them.”

The senator, who took Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat after he retired, said Trump is trying to convince Americans that people who immigrated illegally to the U.S. “are bad people” to justify his campaign promise of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which she calls “a waste of money.”

Before his joint address to Congress on Tuesday, Trump reportedly floated the idea of a compromise on immigration that would legalize some undocumented immigrants while stopping short of allowing them to become U.S. citizens. In the past, liberals have rejected immigration deals that don’t include citizenship, but Cortez Masto said she’s open to it.

“I think it should all be on the table,” she said. “But he has said that and we haven’t seen any actions yet.”

After the interview, her spokesman issued a statement saying the senator will only accept a compromise that includes a pathway to citizenship, and “nothing less.”

Cortez Masto said she’s skeptical the White House actually wants to solve the immigration issue, but she would like to have a “discussion” about it. During his joint address, Trump touted his directive to the Department of Homeland Security to create a special office that tracks and publicizes crimes committed by “removable aliens” — a legal category that includes undocumented and documented immigrants. He did not mention a path to legalization.

“He has talked about this idea of immigration reform, but at the same time he is still painting undocumented immigrants as criminals,” she said.

Cortez Masto, who is also the first female senator to be elected from Nevada, said she has been concerned by the recent appearances of swastikas in her state, including on the Mexican consulate and on a synagogue. She said Trump is not denouncing signs of hate forcefully enough since he was elected, even though he spoke out against such acts during his Tuesday speech.

“I’m not saying it’s a direct correlation [to his election], but something’s going on,” she said. “And he’s the President of the United States. He should be condemning all of it.”

The freshman senator also called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign to protect the Justice Department’s “integrity” after it was revealed he twice met with the Russian ambassador last year. He claimed under oath during his confirmation hearing that he had no contact with Russian officials. Sessions announced later Thursday he would recuse himself from any investigation involving the Trump campaign.

“He’s been the attorney general now for less than a month, and we’re questioning whether the top law enforcement official in the country … has committed a crime,” she said. “For that reason, I think he should resign.”

Update: After this interview was published, Cortez Masto’s spokesman, Reynaldo Benitez, issued a clarification of the senator’s comments on immigration reform. “Senator Cortez Masto supports comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and nothing less,” he said. “The senator believes that if President Trump is actually serious about addressing our broken immigration system, then further discussions should be considered.”

Source: Yahoo News

Editor
By Editor March 4, 2017 08:59

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