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OURVIEW: The problem isn’t DACA or CHIP, it’s tax cuts

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OURVIEW: The problem isn’t DACA or CHIP, it’s tax cuts

Protestors gather after Congress fails to reach decision on DACA.

Protestors gather after Congress fails to reach decision on DACA.

Protestors gather after Congress fails to reach decision on DACA.

Protestors gather after Congress fails to reach decision on DACA.

Amanda Gonzalez and Andrea Guzman

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Each week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff. This week’s editorial board is composed of News Editor Andrea Guzman and Editor and Chief Amanda Gonzalez

The three-day government shutdown from Jan. 19-22 placed immigration reform in the spotlight, as Congress failed to come to an agreement on how to spend national funding.

While Congress stalled to do its job, millions of lives were left in limbo. Federal employees and military personnel went without pay, sick children under the Children’s Health Insurance program feared losing treatment coverage and people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status drew the short end of the legislative stick again.

CHIP and DACA are two programs that were at the heart of the U.S. Senate debate prior to the shutdown. Congressional leaders painted a picture of choosing between funding low-income children of the Children’s Health Insurance Program or student immigrants who were brought to the country as minors with protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

But funding for the nearly two million children on CHIP had been depleted and was in need of Congressional funds 114 days before the shutdown. The immigration protections for 9,000 teachers and hundreds of thousands of students who are DACA recipients are expiring each day that is wasted.

The root of the problem lies with misplaced priorities. If Congressional leaders really cared about helping sick kids or improving immigration reform, they would have placed these needs ahead of tax breaks for the millionaires who needed it least.

Instead of funding CHIP permanently and spending the past 16 years discussing a legislative solution for immigrants, Congressional leaders approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December. Now the nation has to make due with the leftover funds.

Congress has the power to change and prevent change. Choose your politicians wisely. Remember the last day to register to vote for Texas primaries is Feb. 5. 

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OURVIEW: The problem isn’t DACA or CHIP, it’s tax cuts