How to Talk to Your Crazy Uncle About Immigration
Ever since Republicans decided that children fleeing from unspeakable violence are the perfect pawns for their political games, it seems that immigration is all over the news. We imagine it's a topic that comes up other places, too - at the dinner table, around the office, or even on a summer road trip.
Whether it's your crazy Tea Party uncle, that person you know that starts sentences with, "I'm not a racist, but..." or Ted Cruz – someone will say something ridiculous.
We got ya covered.
Here is a list of responses to some of the dumbest things conservatives are saying about immigration and child refugees:
CRAZY UNCLE SAYS: They are not refugees - they are illegal aliens!
YOU SAY: These kids fall squarely into the definition of refugees - the vast majority of whom are fleeing their home countries due to extreme criminal violence. Many are escaping a dangerous gang culture that forces them to join or face retaliation. The U.S. isn’t the only country experiencing this surge in Central American refugees. According to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Asylum requests from Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans to neighboring countries surged 435 percent between 2009 and 2012.”
CRAZY UNCLE SAYS: We need more troops at the border!
YOU SAY: More troops won't stop children who are turning themselves in at border checkpoints. If we want to address the thousands of children coming to America, we don't need the army - we need the Red Cross. These children don't need guns and grenades - they need food and water.
CRAZY UNCLE SAYS: We're housing them for months on end!
YOU SAY: Their cases would be heard faster if Senators Cornyn and Cruz stopped playing politics with the courts. Senators Cornyn, Cruz, and other Texas Republicans have had the opportunity to put more judges on the bench for years - and did nothing. The children only need to be housed until their asylum case can be heard by an immigration judge. Little known fact: 90% of the children are housed with a parent, relative, or family friend in the United States. Kids deserve food and shelter no matter where they are from.
CRAZY UNCLE SAYS: Obama isn't doing anything about it!
YOU SAY: Wrong! Republicans are dragging their feet, not President Obama. Two weeks ago, President Obama requested $3.7 billion in emergency funds to address the crisis. The Republican response: "We don't need it."
CRAZY UNCLE SAYS: This is an Obama conspiracy!
YOU SAY: The U.S. policy dealing with kids from countries other than Mexico was created under the Bush Administration. These child refugees aren’t motivated to leave their home countries by the US immigration policy - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA - that treats them differently than adults. Most of them don’t even know the law exists.