DREAMers Double-Crossed by President and Republicans…Again
Washington, DC – Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement today in response to news that Republican Senators and President Trump have decided to exclude the DREAM Act or any other protection for immigrant youth with DACA from the spending package that must be passed by December 8. The following is a statement from Rep. Gutiérrez who is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The President ended DACA and the top priority of many Democrats is to make sure that DREAMers are in a safe place by the end of this year. It sounds like Republicans and the President are reneging on that plan and all the promises we had from the White House to work towards passage of a bill to protect DREAMers from deportation are out the window. You simply cannot make a deal with Donald Trump and expect him to hold up his end of the bargain two months, two weeks or two minutes later.
I have been clear from the beginning that if Republicans think they can pass a Republican-only spending package to keep the government open in December, they should do so. They control all branches of government and both houses of Congress and don’t need a single Democratic vote if they are unified. However, we all know the Republicans are not unified and always need Democratic votes to pass big spending packages and keep the government open. They lost 90 of their own guys in the House last time
If the Republicans need Democratic votes to pass their spending package in early December, House Democrats will insist that it include a clean DREAM Act to legalize immigrants made vulnerable by President Trump killing DACA. More and more, I think Democrats are coalescing around the idea of forcing Republicans to give us a vote on DREAM if they want our help passing anything else this year.
Democrats will bring 190-plus votes and there are at least 35 Republicans who support legalization for immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. That is enough to pass the DREAM Act tomorrow if the Speaker calls the vote. Messing around with that majority by adding unrelated cuts to legal immigration or ramping up border militarization and deportations will weaken support for the bill and it will be rejected by Democrats. When the American people favor legal status for DREAMers by a 4 to 1 margin, maybe Republicans should stop stonewalling and allow the majority in the House to pass the DREAM Act.
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