Let's be clear — the Republicans shut down the government because they put politics over principles.
Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan could have kept the government open while providing our DREAMers a path to remain here, continue to actively contribute to society, and be with their families — but instead, we got a temporary fix with no solution.
In 1881, during the federal government's assimilation era, my great-grandfather was taken from Laguna Pueblo by train to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, and in the early part of the 1900s, my grandmother was 8 years old when she was taken from Laguna Pueblo by train to St. Catherine’s Indian School in Santa Fe. Her father had only two opportunities to visit her in the five years she was gone, namely because his only method of transportation was a horse and wagon.
In this sad chapter of our nation's history, I’m not sure what the authorities said to Laguna parents to force their families apart, but I am certain that it had detrimental effects on everyone whose children left. Every family member participated in the work it took to sustain themselves in a farming community, especially where the culture of work and tradition depended upon teaching the children.
I could weep every day for the long term battle my ancestors fought just to keep our families and communities together. Every day, I acknowledge that family has to be the most important value any of us hold dear – and if we truly believe that, this value must hold true for every family in America.
My people have a history of our families being torn apart because of government action, and this is the exact fight we are still having in this country today. It isn’t political. DREAMers grew up here. This is the only country they know.
If I were in Congress right now, I would fight for our DREAMers, because to put their fate in the hands of Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan — who gave tax cuts to the richest 1%, tried to take away healthcare from millions of Americans, and deregulated our EPA to death — would be utter madness.