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New administration: Unity will trump division

EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON | 3/6/2017, 11:03 a.m.
The early phases of Donald Trump’s presidency have been very alarming for some.
eddie bernice johnson

U.S. House of Representatives

The early phases of Donald Trump’s presidency have been very alarming for some. The roll out of his executive actions, particularly the hasty immigration ban, have showcased that the administration lacks fundamental knowledge when it comes to creating policies that impact the lives of millions, causing great discomfort for many Americans in the process.

The administration should work with both Democrat and Republican lawmakers when creating policies that impact the livelihood of our constituents. However, as a senior member of Congress and a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, I would welcome the opportunity to offer President Trump ways to improve his representation of the people his administration serves.

The president ran an aggressive campaign full of promises: to repeal Obamacare, reconstruct an elusive border wall, put a stop to refugees entering our country and place America “first” when dealing with complicated international issues. As these promises become increasingly difficult to deliver, concerned citizens have united to voice protest in a powerful and impressive way.

One day after President Trump’s inauguration, millions of women, men and children marched across the streets in Dallas and in multiple U.S. cities and worldwide in solidarity to respect the rights of women, to show they do not fear immigrants, to protect our planet and to call for justice and to respect the rights of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and the LGBT community. The Women’s March was the catalyst needed to reenergize and encourage momentum to show disapproval with the administration’s goal to divide us in our country.

The administration must work with and consult Congress before more life altering errors occur. For example, the executive order travel ban was ill conceived in that it was not clear on the status of green card holders and permanent residents, and second, it was discriminatory to a religion; it specifically identified Muslim-majority countries.

Meanwhile, hundreds of selfless people showed up to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in opposition to the travel ban and to show the administration that their actions were divisive and were tearing families apart. The travel ban did not and will never represent the values we hold dearly here in my congressional district or across the country.

The administration’s lack of a cohesive response in trying times was showcased recently when the president did not have organized or thoughtful remarks condemning the threats on the Jewish Community Centers across our nation. Discriminatory tensions in our nation continue to be alarming, and hateful actions like these must be condemned unequivocally and addressed swiftly.

I would like to see policies administered by the president and his cabinet that positively impact District 30 rather than the creation of policies that will hurt the economic growth or stifle the civil liberties granted to each person. We need to operate in a peaceful environment, because operating in turmoil the last month has only hurt Americans.

I am proud of my constituents in North Texas and Americans across the country who have continued to call Congressional offices and have participated in various town halls and platforms to voice their concerns. May the values we cherish be a symbol of unity that our nation represents.

U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the highest-ranking Texan on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. She represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas.