Sunday, March 1, 2015

An Open Letter to John Boehner and the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on DHS Funding

Dear Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Members of Both Houses:

I write this open letter today to remind you that all of us who vote in every election do so to uphold and protect the system of government guaranteed by our Constitution--a system based on laws properly made through the legislative branch of the government and implemented through the executive branch.  Over the past six years we have seen this system steadily eroded as the executive branch has seized more and more power away from weak members of the other branches of government.  Last fall, when we voted you into your present majorities, most of the American people who did vote did so with one purpose in mind--to stop this slide towards lawlessness and to reinstate the checks and balances system of government.  We gave you all of the tools that you needed to be an effective check on executive power.  So my question to you now is, why are you once again abdicating your responsibilities by refusing to stand up to the president's latest unlawful action?  Why are you so willing to once again hand over your power by passing a "clean bill" to fund DHS? And why are you whining that it is too late to stop this--that the best chance was at the end of the last session when the budget was passed?
Lest you forget, the budget deal was passed while Harry Reid was still Senate Majority leader.  Under his supervision there was NO chance of defunding amnesty or of stopping any of Obama's other flagrantly illegal acts.  That's why we elected you.  You have a chance now to actually do something about this, and yet you are once again waffling.
For those of you, and I know there are many, who are actually in support of amnesty, who actually are listening to the myriad corporate voices telling you that America needs its undocumented immigrants, that business relies on the work of undocumented immigrants, and that Hispanics will never vote for you again if you defund DHS, I have just one word for you: "STOP."  As a four decade long resident of a community which was 85% Hispanic I can tell you with reasonable certainty that Republicans will never have a majority of the Hispanic vote no matter what they do. Hispanics who are interested in free enterprise and upward mobility without government help will find you on their own.  But Hispanic countries are by and large socialist countries with socialist mindsets.  Most of the immigrants from these countries believe in a big safety net even if that big net means that most of the people live in poverty.  In this at least Ronald Reagan and all of those who have come after him were wrong--Hispanics are not  a natural voting block for the Republican party, and they never will be. The sooner you admit that, the sooner you can stop chasing votes you are never going to get.
However, the bigger issue here is not whether Hispanics can be converted to the GOP or not.  The question is not whether the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports amnesty (it does).  The question is not even whether it is morally right or financial expedient to deport people who have lived in this  country for decades and have children who are citizens.
The real issue here is the overreach of power by President Obama.   The question you all need to be asking yourselves this week is not "How do we resolve the issues of immigration?" but rather, "How are we going to respond to the problem of executive overreach?"  That second question is the ONLY one you are answering right now.  Funding an executive order to legalize between 4 and 7 million people not only rewards the illegal behavior by those who broke our laws to enter this country; it also rewards the president's illegal behavior.  By funding this initiative, you are saying that Obama does have the right to use his pen and his phone to do whatever he pleases.  You are abdicating your authority and responsibilities as a co-equal branch of government.  And you are betraying the people who elected you to stop this nonsense.
On Thursday many Americans, including me, took time to call the offices of various Senators to ask them not to vote for any bill that would fund amnesty.  By the time I was finished with my phone calls I was finding offices that had their answering machines on because of the volume of calls.  (Senator Marco Rubio's office had a message that the office could not receive any more calls because the voice mails were full.)  I was encouraged; I knew that my fellow citizens were on the phones letting you know what WE think about all of this.  And lest you forget the lessons of the last six years, we voted you in to stand up to Obama.  If you fail to do the job we elected you to do, we can just as easily vote you out.  We hired you and we can fire you.
I hope that you will take the time to think seriously about your responsibilities to the United States, and your responsibilities to the people who elected you.  I hope that you will consider the precedent you are setting right now if you do not uphold the systems of checks and balances.  I would rather see the Department of Homeland Security permanently shut down and all of its agents in the private sector than to see one penny allocated to support this illegal initiative.  Shut it down and leave it shut down--for the next two years if you need to.  We have enough law enforcement in this country without it.  But don't think for one minute that you can fund this and then tell us you had no choice.
It's time to stand up and do the job you were elected to do.
 Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at

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