As President Trump continues his daily offensive of tweeted propaganda making phony claims about a national emergency at the border, four of the most noted newly elected Democratic congresswomen rededicated their efforts to their campaign to defund the Department of Homeland Security until it ceases its family separation policies, ends its use of for-profit private detention centers and reunites the thousands of children separated from their families while seeking asylum at the border.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have banded together to present a united front as Congress debates funding President Trump’s extortionate request for a useless border wall. Stating their goal with a simple hashtag — #Not1Dollar — the progressive congresswomen have vowed to vote against allocating any more money to the Department of Homeland Security and its immigration goon squad ICE.
The four representatives sent their colleagues a letter outlining their stalwart position and soliciting support from other Democrats on Friday, a letter later posted to Twitter by Congresswoman Tlaib.
This week, @AyannaPressley @IlhanMN @AOC sent a "dear colleague" letter urging support to stop the madness of increasing funding into a broken system that has hurt our families. We need to roll up our sleeves & actually pass comprehensive immigration reform.#not1dollar pic.twitter.com/leSLTv92DH
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 2, 2019
The letter was accompanied by a coordinated media blitz by the progressive legislators using both traditional and social media to spread their message.
As long as ICE and DHS fund for-profit private detention centers that put children in cages, we say #Not1Dollar more.
Not on our watch. @AOC @RashidaTlaib @AyannaPressley pic.twitter.com/ceo1hdoUAP
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 1, 2019
Families should not be torn apart. Children should not be detained in unsafe conditions. Communities should not live in constant fear.
DHS should receive #not1dollar more until we have a more humane & empathetic system. https://t.co/Aj1zwzV6NR
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) February 1, 2019
Representative Ocasio-Cortez kept the momentum going with a Superbowl Sunday retweet of Congresswoman Omar’s post, augmented with some additional facts to help bolster their position.
Last year DHS separated 1000s of children from their parents + put them in cages. Some died. Yet DHS has had 0 accountability or changes.
Why on earth should we give them more cash?
Proud to join @AyannaPressley, @IlhanMN, & @RashidaTlaib as we say #Not1Dollar more to DHS. https://t.co/AWBq0eJrRE
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2019
While the progressive legislators face an uphill battle in garnering enough support from their more centrist colleagues in Congress to achieve their goal, the pressure they are putting on the negotiations with their public stance against the administration’s worst excesses will help prevent Democrats from caving into President Trump’s attempts to hold the government hostage over his demands for a his poorly thought out border security solution.
Whether the congresswomen are ultimately able to achieve their goal in the short term is less important than the long-range results of their unity of purpose and than the establishment of a progressive wing in the Democratic Party to drown out the feeble bleatings of the so-called Republican Freedom Caucus which has been hell-bent on returning America to the same dark ages that Trump has been trying to regress our course to.
With a message of spending money on education, health care, infrastructure, a “Green New Deal,” and the needs of America’s citizens rather than on defense contractors and tax cuts for billionaires, these determined congresswomen represent the next phase in the evolution of the Democratic party — a party willing to fight for its deeply held principles rather than compromise its way into submission to the old white men’s club that has driven the nation to the brink of disaster time and again.
Their energetic entry into our nation’s political discourse offers a glimmer of hope for the future in the face of the negative energy drain provided by Trump’s Republican dystopia.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.