Gutiérrez Statement On Budget Deal Without DACA
Washington, DC – Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) says he will vote against the Senate budget and spending deal the House is expected to vote on later today and he is urging his colleagues to do the same. The two-year deal does not address those with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program the President ended, nor the Dream Act (HR 3440). Rep. Gutiérrez has consistently said since September that he will not vote for budgets, spending resolutions or other “must-pass” legislation that fails to protect the Dreamers who are becoming vulnerable to deportation. The following is a statement from Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this President and this Administration to deport Dreamers. It is as simple as that.
As Democrats, we have to stand on principle and now is the time for some courage. We have made a pledge to protect Dreamers, the very Dreamers we encouraged to come forward and sign up and give their fingerprints to Homeland Security – and if we stand together and stand strong, then we can protect those Dreamers and insist on the passage of the Dream Act.
It is not enough to ask Speaker Ryan for open debate on the issue or to hope that Senator McConnell allows a fair and open process to consider the Dream Act. Lives hang in the balance and we must use whatever leverage we have to force this Congress to do the right thing and protect Dreamers from becoming undocumented and deportable.
It is not easy for me to call for a vote against a measure that includes hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, the beloved Island I have visited six times since September, bringing aid from the people of Chicago. It is not easy for me to call for a vote against a measure that will fund Community Health Centers in Chicago and elsewhere because they do vital work that helps my constituents. But this is an inflection point where our Party has to stand up to defend the weak and the vulnerable from an outrageous attack from the heartless bully in the White House who decided to deport DACA recipients.
These are Americans. They grew up here. They live and work here. They share our nation with us. Right now, we are being called upon to protect them from deportation and we must answer that call.
I will not play a role in deporting these young Americans back to countries where they are not welcome and could be endangered. They should live and work here in the country that raised them. They need to be here where being a woman, identifying as LGBTQ or living with a handicap is not a death sentence or a challenge to basic human rights. They are our young people and we should protect them.
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