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Will Republican Congress Do More for 'Unlawful' Than Unborn?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The great humanitarians gathered on the Senate floor this Sunday to demonstrate their passion for protecting "kids."

"Kids against kids. Innocent kids against innocent kids. That's no way to operate in this country!"

So declared Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois then reminisced about those long, lost days when he used to go to Mass with his father.

"We think back about our memories as kids growing up," said Durbin.

"Sunday was our family day," he said. "Dad liked to get up early and Mom liked to sleep in. So Dad would get up for 7:30 Mass in East St. Louis, Illinois, and I would jump out of bed, too, because I knew that after Mass, Dad and I would go out to some greasy spoon restaurant and get eggs and bacon. It was something I looked forward to.

"Then we would stop at a bakery and pick up a doughnut for Mom," said Durbin. "We would get home in time to see her wake up, give her doughnut and coffee, and then she would be off to 11 o'clock Mass at St. Elizabeth's."

Just two days before Schumer and Durbin went down to the Senate floor, the March for Life made its way up Capitol Hill.

In that March, Americans recalled -- and rejected -- the 1973 Supreme Court decision in which seven justices decided that the 14th Amendment, ratified to prevent states from depriving "any person of life" and "equal protection of the laws," had in fact created a "right" to kill an unborn child.

Were Schumer and Durbin inspired to talk about "kids" because they were lamenting Roe and the millions of babies slaughtered because of it?


They were talking about a welfare program and an amnesty plan.

"Republicans want to pretend they are advocates of CHIP, but quite the contrary," Schumer explained. "They were using the 10 million kids on CHIP and holding them as hostages for the 800,000 kids who are Dreamers."

What is CHIP and who are "Dreamers"?

"The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a means-tested program that provides health coverage to targeted low-income children and pregnant women in families that have annual income above the Medicaid eligibility levels but have no health insurance," says the Congressional Research Service. Although the states run CHIP, the federal government provided most of its funding through fiscal 2017, when (by law) federal funding for it expired.

The continuing resolution the Republican Congress passed Monday funded the government for less than three weeks, but extended the CHIP welfare program for six more years.

"Dreamers" refers to foreign nationals whom President Obama's Department of Homeland Security admitted were guilty of what it called "unlawful presence" in the United States. But then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano declared in 2012 that she would use "prosecutorial discretion" to let them stay.

To qualify for this "discretion," according to Napolitano's declaration, foreign nationals needed to be "brought to this country as children and know only this country as home," have come here "under the age of sixteen," and not be "above the age of thirty."

So, today, a 35-year-old man who left a native country he never knew as "home" -- even though he spent his first 15 years there -- and who spent 15 years "unlawfully present" in the United States before Napolitano issued her decree, could qualify as a "Dreamer."

But what about a baby, who has spent 15 weeks in his mother's womb, and is about to be terminated in a federally funded Planned Parenthood clinic?

Do he and others like him -- to borrow Chuck Schumer's phrase -- qualify as "innocent kids"?

Should he have the opportunity to go to Mass as a child -- like Dick Durbin did?

Or should the Republican-controlled Congress permit millions of federal tax dollars to go to Planned Parenthood clinics under the appropriations laws they pass for fiscal 2018?

The Republican Congress may not be able to prohibit abortion this year. But it can defund Planned Parenthood, which says it aborted 321,384 human lives in fiscal 2016 while taking in $543.7 million in total government funding in the year that ended on June 30, 2017.

The Republican Congress has now passed four short-term continuing resolutions to fund the government in fiscal 2018. Each has permitted funding of Planned Parenthood. Democrats like Schumer and Durbin are suggesting they will not support another funding bill unless Republicans agree to an amnesty for foreign nationals who spent years in "unlawful presence" in this country.

Will Republicans finally call the bluff of Schumer and Durbin, who pretend to care about "innocent kids" while demanding millions in federal funding for an organization that aborts them?

Or will they give in to Schumer and Durbin on two counts at once by granting permanent legal residence to those who were "unlawfully present" in this country while funding an organization that kills those who are innocent and unborn?

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