President Obama's recent speech fits a historic and racist framework through which we can describe the exclusion and banishment of people with felonies who are detained and deported. Even while some parents of citizens will be eligible for relief, parents with felonies and their families will remain vulnerable.
The unfolding humanitarian crisis on the border further highlights the urgent need to fix our broken immigration system and create a clear and fair path to citizenship. Yet some Congressional Republicans are using the plight of immigrant families to call for even stricter enforcement policies. It's shameful.
Comprehensive immigration reform would lift millions of immigrants out of the shadows, reducing women's vulnerability to abuse and exploitation and eliminating one of the major barriers to seeking assistance. Further, many women would no longer have to make the heart-wrenching decision to stay in an abusive situation out of fear of being torn apart from their families.
Republicans need to take advantage of immigration reform in a way that not just allows them to take back the House, but also win the presidency. With 40 million new Latino voters by 2030, and more if immigration reform becomes a reality, the GOP does not have any way to escape the issue of immigration reform.