Newly elected Congressman Juan Ciscomani (AZ CD6) gave the Spanish language Republican response to SOTU, giving him a chance to define himself and his party for a national audience of Spanish-speaking voters. Blake Morlock summed it up well, calling it “solid, unspectacular, made key points, and… largely forgettable.” I don’t disagree, but what Ciscomani didn’t say and completely elided from the most important speech of his new career is just as important.
Ciscomani’s response completely ignored how the American Dream that brought Ciscomani to Congress might be available to anyone not already in the magic circle of American citizenship. Others have previously pointed out his hypocrisy on this subject.
Ciscomani introduces himself as an embodiment of the American dream: a first-generation immigrant and naturalized citizen who came to America as a child and has built a successful American life, winding up with him holding a seat on our nation’s House. One might expect he might address his Party’s plans about how to make that same Dream that he embodies come true for others like him.
He does not: because he can’t – Republican rhetoric and orthodoxy are unremitting hostile to people like Ciscomani, so Juan has no solutions and makes no call for that. He does not even call on his own Party to support the lowest-hanging fruit: to make the Dreamers’ American Dreams come true.
If it weren’t for Ciscomani’s age, he could BE a Dreamer himself. Yet not a word about supporting DACA recipients’ American Dream by calling on his Party to support such a policy. Why? Because Republicans are overwhelmingly hostile to that goal and have voted repeatedly to reject citizenship for Dreamers, and run their campaigns accordingly, denying people exactly like Ciscomani the dream of citizenship granted to him.
All that Ciscomani really proposes is his support for the empty Republican Commitment to America which contains only more border security (Ciscomani suggests “increased border security, infrastructure, and advanced technology to prevent illegal drug trafficking and human trafficking exploitation”) and neglects to do anything about the immigration status of the millions living precarious lives in America because of their immigration statuses until and unless perfect operational control of the border is secured (hint: that will NEVER come to pass).
So when Ciscomani promises to “protect the American Dream”, he’s promising to reserve it for current Americans only, despite his empty and totally contentless claim that he wants to “protect and strengthen the American Dream for all.”
Rep. Ciscomani, I call bullshit. You don’t intend to fight for an American Dream for anyone like your younger self. You could prove me wrong with your votes and advocacy, but you haven’t made a good start.
“So when Ciscomani promises to “protect the American Dream”, he’s promising to reserve it for current Americans only…”
I can’t think of anything I’m more tired of hearing politicians talk about than “the American Dream.” Whenever this rhetoric is applied, the subject instantly becomes meaningless.
The American Dream is a myth. This country is about exclusion, it always has been, and always will be.
Tyre Nichols had an American Dream. He wanted to be a photographer. Instead he was beaten to death by cops at age 29 for reasons still unknown. Just another American denied his American Dream because he was not a white person.
When Biden was elected and the Democrats took control of the House and Senate, we had a once in a generation opportunity to legislate progressive policies that really would have helped people achieve the so-called American Dream or at least make their day to day lives significantly better. Anyone remember “free community college?” That was first to go.
No one, absolutely no one has done more to shoot holes in Biden’s Agenda and “the American Dream” than Kyrsten Sinema. I’m waiting for the Democrats (especially Chuck Schumer) to sever ties with her, admit that promoting her was a major mistake, and promise to do better. And I know that will never happen.
I hope that the AZ Democrats will get serious about taking back CD6 in 2024. It’s not like the GOP will have any accomplishments for Juan Ciscomani to run on.
Ciscomanis sounds like your typical right wing ladder puller. Once he’s climbed to where he’s at he pulls up the ladder so others can’t follow. You know, like Clarence Thomas using Affirmative Action to get into law school and then trying to destroy it. Or Greg Abbott getting a huge settlement after a neighbor’s tree falls on him and then becoming a tort reform “warrior”.