EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was addressed to Sen. Charles Schumer from Tim Markbreiter, a local resident who attends Binghamton University.
Dear Sen. Schumer:
Thank you for serving as senator for the great state of New York for almost 20 years. Throughout your leadership, you have given New York a powerful voice in the federal government, and have done service to one of the most populous regions in the country.
As you know, the problems at our border have been bolstered by the unethical and unprecedented racism the Republican Party and the president have endorsed, especially in the past couple of years. Despite that, the leadership of the Democratic Party — while met with much pushback — has ensured that the values of our country will not be swayed by the hateful rhetoric espoused by the other side.
Unfortunately, these values cannot prevail if we give the president and Republicans in Congress the proposed $1.6 billion for the border. After recklessly deploying 5,000 troops at the border, using tear gas on immigrants and egregiously separating families, this president has proven his border agenda cannot be funded.
It’s clear that the intention of coming to an agreement on a budget is to avoid a government shutdown. But when it comes to the lives of vulnerable, defenseless people seeking a better life that our country can easily provide, it is imperative that we stand by these people rather than agree on a budget and avoid public scrutiny. Blood is on the hands of the current administration and the Republican majority in Congress.
It is Democrats, and more importantly your responsibility, to hold out and say no to the president’s request for the funding he wants at the border. If this means the government shuts down, then the government shuts down.
In the past 242 years of our country, it has never been a priority to patrol our borders and evade potential outside threats. There is a reason for this: People south of the border aren’t our enemies, nor do they pose a threat to the well-being of our country any more than our own citizens.
Immigrants are an essential part of our country’s history, culture and economy. We would not be the incredibly diverse nation we are today without our open arms to immigrants.
We’ve only witnessed the beginning acts of President Trump, and the worst is yet to come with this proposed budget. It has been up to responsible and diligent politicians, like yourself, to step up and check President Trump when he endorses racially charged legislation, which this budget enforces.
If you vote to approve this budget, you are letting the entire state of New York — and more importantly, our country — down. You are telling the American people, and the world, that America is ready to accept these racist, nationalist, isolationist policies the president upholds.
Please, Sen. Schumer, stand up for the rights of the needy in this world.
The stronghold democratic western world is crumbling at the hands of radical right-wing politicians emboldened by racial supremacy. Democracy and the survival of the free world is dependent on your leadership.