MetroFocus

THE MIDTERMS & CITIZENSHIP

Transcript

DEMOCRATS ARE INVITING
CARAVAN AFTER CARAVAN.
ISN'T THAT NICE?
OF ILLEGAL ALIENS TO FLOOD INTO
OUR COUNTRY, AND OVERWHELM YOUR
COMMUNITIES.
IF YOU WANT MORE CARAVANS AND
MORE CRIME, VOTE DEMOCRAT.
IF YOU WANT STRONG BORDERS AND
SAFE COMMUNITIES, VOTE
REPUBLICAN.
>> AS AMERICA AWAITS MIDTERM
ELECTION RETURNS, AT A TIME WHEN
THE COUNTRY COULDN'T SEEM TO BE
MORE DIVIDED, A FEDERAL TRIAL
STARTED YESTERDAY IN DOWNTOWN
THAT IS ALSO BEING CLOSELY
WATCHED, AND ITS OUTCOME WILL
ALSO HAVE ENORMOUS IMPLICATIONS.
IN QUESTION, IS THE QUESTION
LITERALLY.
A CONTROVERSIAL ONE ABOUT
CITIZENSHIP AND ITS ADDITION TO
THE 2020 CENSUS.
THE PLAINTIFFS CHALLENGING THE
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, 18 STATES
IN TOTAL, INCLUDING NEW YORK,
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
SEVERAL CITIES AND A HANDFUL OF
IMMIGRANT GROUPS.
THEY ALL SAY THE CITIZENSHIP
QUESTION WAS MOTIVATED BY
DISCRIMINATORY INTENTS BY
MINORITIES WHO MIGHT NOT ANSWER
OUT OF FEAR OF REPRISAL.
AN INCORRECT COUNT WOULD AFFECT
HOW BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF
FEDERAL FUNDS ARE DISBURSED.
THE CASE IS PLAYED OUT AS THE
CARAVAN OF REFUGEES FROM SOUTH
AND CENTRAL AMERICA CONTINUING
ITS SLOW MOVE NORTH.
AND AS PRESIDENT TRUMP RAMPS UP
BORDER SECURITY WITH UP TO
15,000 U.S. TROOPS.
ONE MEMBER OF CONGRESS HAS BEEN
WATCHING ALL OF THESE
DEVELOPMENTS UNFOLD WITH UNIQUE
INSIGHT.
HE REPRESENTS NEW YORK'S 13th
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHICH
ENCOMPASSES PART OF THE BRONX
AND UPPER MANHATTAN, AND THE
FIRST MEMBER OF CONGRESS WHO
CAME TO THEITE AS AN
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT AND JOINS
ME NOW.
CONGRESSMAN, WELCOME BACK TO
"METROFOCUS."
>> THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME
ONCE AGAIN.
>> SO I JUST WANT TO GO STRAIGHT
TO YOUR PERSONAL STORY.
TAKE US BACK TO WHEN YOU FIRST
CAME TO THIS COUNTRY, HOW DID
THAT HAPPEN AND WHAT WERE THE
CIRCUMSTANCES?
>> WE CAME HERE, MY FAMILY AND
I, ON A VISITOR'S VISA.
MY GRANDPARENTS WERE ALREADY
HERE SINCE THE '50s.
THEY WERE HERE BEFORE I WAS
BORN.
THEY WERE BOTH FACTORY WORKERS,
CAME HERE TO DO BETTER FOR
THEMSELVES.
FINALLY WE CAME IN ON A
VISITOR'S VISA AND OVERSTAID OUR
VISA AND FOUND OURSELVES WITHOUT
ANY DOCUMENTATION.
AND EVENTUALLY HAD TO GO BACK TO
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TO GET
OUR GREEN CARD, RIGHT IN THE
MIDDLE OF A CIVIL WAR OVER
THERE.
HAD WE NOT GETTEN THE GREEN
CARD, I COULD NOT BE HERE TODAY.
>> GIVEN THE FACT THAT THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WAS IMBROILED
IN A CIVIL WAR, IS THAT
SOMETHING THAT TOUCHED YOUR
LIFE?
>> I THINK THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE
OF THE WAR THERE, THE AFTERMATH
OF THE WAR, WHICH LED TO A GREAT
MIGRATION OF DOMINICANS TO NEW
YORK CITY.
I REMEMBER WHEN THEY SENT US
HOME AFTER SCHOOL WHEN MARTIN
LUTHER KING WAS KID.
MALCOLM X WAS MURDERED UP THE
BLOCK, AND THE VIETNAM WAR.
ALL OF THAT STUFF TOGETHER
SHAPED WHO I AM TODAY.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, WHERE WE ARE WITH
IMMIGRATION RIGHT NOW,
ESPECIALLY DEALING WITH
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN THE
COUNTRY, WHAT IS IT FROM YOUR
PERSPECTIVE IS BEING MISSED IN
OUR NATIONAL DIALOGUE?
>> COMPASSION.
I THINK THAT IS A GREAT PORTION
OF AMERICA WHO SIDES WITH THE
PRESIDENT HAS LOST EMPATHY AND
COMPASSION FOR OTHERS.
THIS NATION IS BUILT ON A VALUE
SYSTEM THAT WE WILL HELP THE
LEAST AMONG US.
AND PEOPLE WHO COME FROM ALL
OVER THE WORLD, BECAUSE WE ARE
AMERICA, AND IT'S A GREAT NATION
THAT HARBORS EVERYBODY, AND
ALLOWS THEM TO FLOURISH.
BUT THIS HAS CHANGED, AND THIS
IS A MEAN SPIRITED ATTITUDE OUT
THERE THAT I THINK IS BEING
PUSHED FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.
>> SO HERE'S ONE OH OF THE OTHER
QUESTIONS IS THAT RIGHT NOW
WE'RE SEEING THIS MOVEMENT, I
MEAN, THE PRESIDENT HAS CALLED
IT A CARAVAN, HE'S CALLED IT AN
INVASION.
OTHER PEOPLE HAVE SAID THESE ARE
ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO ARE QUITE
LITERALLY WALKING UP FROM
CENTRAL AMERICA.
BUT HOW DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST
WAY FOR A COUNTRY LIKE AMERICA
TO ADDRESS THIS LARGE GROUP OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE HOPING TO CLAIM
ASYLUM BUT MAYBE WE DON'T HAVE
THE RESOURCES, MAYBE WE DON'T --
I MEAN, THERE WASN'T -- NOBODY
APPLIED FOR A VISA, WHICH
TECHNICALLY IS WHAT THE TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION IS SAYING THAT
THEY WANT PEOPLE TO DO BEFORE
THEY COME TO THE COUNTRY, NOT TO
COME AND JUST CROSS THE BORDER,
NOT TO COME AND OVERSTAY A VISA.
>> THE NUMBER OF FORECAST HAS
DWINDLED DOWN TO MAYBE 3500.
I THINK THAT BECAUSE THE WHITE
HOUSE HAS ALREADY EXPRESSED A
BIASED OPINION OF IT, THE
PRESIDENT GOING AS FAR AS SAYING
IF THEY THROW ROCKS, MAYBE WE
SHOULD SHOOT BACK, I THINK THE
UNITED NATIONS NEEDS TO STEP IN.
AND ON THE MEXICO SIDE OF THE
BORDER, AND ENSURE THAT NO ONE'S
HUMAN RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED.
THIS IS A HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS
NOW.
AND ENSURE THAT THESE FOLKS ARE
TREATED WITH THE SERVICES THEY
NEED, AND THE U.S. CAN VET THEM
AND SEE WHO IS ENTITLED TO
HAVE -- APPLY FOR ASYLUM AND GET
ASYLUM.
>> THAT'S ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT
IS ALSO COMING UP, BECAUSE WE
UNDERSTAND THERE'S A LOT OF
WOMEN AND CHILDREN TRAVELING
WITH THIS GROUP.
>> 2/3 OF THE GROUP ARE WOMEN
AND CHILDREN.
>> 2/3 OF THE GROUP, OKAY.
SO THEN WHAT IS IT -- WHAT ARE
YOUR CONCERNS FOR THESE WOMEN
AND CHILDREN ONCE THEY CROSS?
WE HEARD THE PRESIDENT CONSIDER
REENGAGING IN THE ZERO TOLERANCE
POLICY WE SAW THAT LED TO THE
SEPARATION OF SMALL CHILDREN
FROM THEIR MOTHERS.
>> AMERICA REJECTED THAT, AND
THAT'S WHY THE PRESIDENT HAD TO
BACK PEDAL.
AND THAT'S WHY HE HAD TO RESORT
TO THIS RHETORIC REGARDING THE
SO-CALLED CARAVAN.
WHICH IN ITSELF IS A VERY
QUESTIONABLE WORD.
BECAUSE IT DEHUMANIZES PEOPLE.
IT GIVES THEM NO FACE.
WHEN YOU SAY IT'S JUST A
CARAVAN, LIKE A MOB OF PEOPLE,
IT DEHUMANIZES THEM.
THEY ARE PEOPLE WITH STORIES
BEHIND THEM AND FAMILIES.
AND SOME OF THEM ARE RUNNING FOR
THEIR LIVES.
AND SO WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT
AMERICA ALREADY REJECTED THE
PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO SPLIT A
NINE-MONTH BABY FROM HIS OR HER
MOM, AND AMERICA REJECTED THE
ATTITUDE THAT THE WHITE HOUSE
HAD WITH DREAMERS.
OVERWHELMINGLY.
OVER 80% OF AMERICANS FELT THAT
DREAMERS SHOULD STAY, IN RED
STRAITS, BLUE STATES, REPUBLICAN
AND DEMOCRATIC DISTRICTS.
VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS FELT
IT WAS INHUMANE TO RIP A CHILD
FROM A MOTHER'S ARM.
SO OF COURSE, YOU HAVE TO SHIFT
BACK AND THEN TRY TO IMPOSE A
DEBATE ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
IN THIS CASE, HE CALLS IT A
CARAVAN.
AND HE SAYS, VIOLENT, BLOOD
THIRSTY PEOPLE.
AND OF COURSE, HE TALKS ABOUT
SANCTUARY CITIES, AS THOUGH A
SANCTUARY CITY HARBORS VIOLENT
CRIMINALS, BUT IN FACT IT ONLY
ALLOWS A MOM TO TAKE HER CHILD
TO SCHOOL WITHOUT THE FEAR THAT
THE PRINCIPAL IS GOING TO CALL
I.C.E. ON HER OR A GRAND FAITH
TORE GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM
WITHOUT FEAR OF HAVING I.C.E.
CALLED.
>> I WANTED TO BRING THIS BACK
TO THE CENSUS.
YOU HAVE THE QUESTION OF WHETHER
OR NOT YOU ARE A CITIZEN APPEARS
ON THE CENSUS.
ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT IF YOU
HAVE CONSTITUENTS, IF OTHER
PLACES IN NEW YORK, THERE'S
PEOPLE WHO DON'T FEEL
COMFORTABLE ANSWERING THE
CENSUS, WHAT HAPPENS?
>> THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE
UNDOCUMENTED BY THE WAY, THAT
QUESTION.
IF I'M A U.S. CITIZEN, AND I
HAVE TO ANSWER THAT
QUESTIONNAIRE, AND I HAVE TO
REPORT MY HOUSEHOLD, AND IF
THERE'S AN UNDOCUMENTED COUSIN
OR BROTHER LIVING IN MY
HOUS
HOUSEHOLD, I MAY CHOOSE NOT TO
FILL THAT FORM OUT IN FEAR THAT
THEY WILL COME FOR MY BROTHER.
SERVICES AND RESOURCES, MONEYS
WILL BE DENIED FOR ALL NEW
YORKERS WHEN THE POPULATION IS
NOT COUNTED APPROPRIATELY OR
ACCURATELY.
SO THE U.S. BORN CHILDREN WILL
GET LESS MONEY IN THEIR SCHOOLS.
LEGAL RESIDENTS WILL GET LESS
MONEY IN THEIR SCHOOLS.
THE UNDOCUMENTED ALSO WILL GET
LESS MONEY.
EVERYBODY WILL GET LESS MONEY
BECAUSE THE COUNT WILL GO DOWN.
SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SENDS
A CHILLING EFFECT TO FAMILIES
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY,
PARTICULARLY THE UNDOCUMENTED,
AND EVEN LEGAL RESIDENTS WHO
WILL FEAR, WAIT A MINUTE, I
DON'T KNOW IF THIS ONLY
APPLIES -- THIS MAY APPLY TO ME.
BUT EVEN U.S. CITIZENS WHO HAVE
FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ARE IN THAT
PREDICAMENT, MAY SAY I DON'T
WANT TO PUT ANYBODY IN PERIL, I
DON'T WANT TO FILL IT OUT.
WHAT IS ABOUT THE IMPACT OF
VOTING DISTRICTS?
>> THAT'S THE SECOND PHASE,
WHICH IS THE MAIN OBJECTIVE, IS
TO USE THE CENSUS AS A POLITICAL
TOOL, AND TO HAVE IT HAVE A
COUNT THAT WILL RESULT IN A
REDUCTION IN DISTRICTS AND
PERHAPS ANOTHER REPUBLICAN
MAJORITY.
>> OF COURSE, THE FEDERAL
FUNDING.
YOU SORT OF TALKED ABOUT HOW
EVEN AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS,
CHILDREN WOULDN'T BE GETTING
MONEY FOR THE SCHOOLS THEY NEED.
WHAT ELSE WOULD BE AT STAKE WITH
A LOSS OF FEDERAL FUNDING,
PARTICULARLY FOR A CITY LIKE NEW
YORK?
>> ANY MUNICIPALITY THAT HAS
LARGE NUMBERS OF IMMIGRANTS WILL
BE HARD PRESSED NOT TO PUSH FOR
THIS QUESTION TO GO OFF THE
CENSUS FORM.
IT WILL BE LIKE GOVERNMENT
MALPRACTICE FOR ANY MUNICIPALITY
OR COUNTY, TO THE TO HAVE THEIR
FAIR SHARE, TO ADDRESS THE NEED
OF THE POPULATION IT SERVICES.
ANY REDUCTION TO LOSE TO A LACK
OF SERVICES FOR EVERYBODY, NOT
JUST THE UNDOCUMENTED OR GREEN
CARD HOLDERS, BUT U.S. CITIZENS,
AS WELL.
>> ALL RIGHT.
LISTEN, CONGRESSMAN, WE WOULD
LOVE TO HAVE YOU BACK,
ESPECIALLY AFTER THE ELECTION SO
WE CAN GO THROUGH WHAT WAS
DECIDED, AND WE'LL BE WATCHING
THIS CASE VERY CLOSELY.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> THANK YOU.


URL: https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2018/11/the-midterms-citizenship/