WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on today’s Congressional votes:
Today represents a tragic missed opportunity for Congress to rise to the occasion and fight on behalf of Dreamers and the 86% of Americans who want Congress to protect Dreamers. Delaying protections for Dreamers means tens of thousands more individuals living in our communities will be ripped out of their jobs, separated from their families, and may be deported to countries they barely know.
The binary choice before every member of Congress has not changed: either they will pass bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers, or they will watch as nearly 800,000 young people who grew up in our communities, prayed in our churches, and studied in our schools are systematically ripped out of the only country they know. Every day, every Member of Congress will have to look in the mirror and ask themselves what they did – or failed to do – to prevent the mass firings and mass deportation of Dreamers. Their actions and the results are what matter.
Republicans control the Senate. Republicans control the House. Republicans control the White House. The Republican President has – like the leaders of both chambers – repeatedly said he want to protect Dreamers. But until Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell put bipartisan legislation to a vote, Dreamers will lose status and soon our nation will begin the large-scale deportation of DACA recipients.
“he lives of Dreamers will be their hands and they will be judged by their actions and results between now and February 8th. We will win – and we will get legislation passed to protect Dreamers and will continue to fight for a bipartisan solution.
Without congressional action, nearly 800,000 Dreamers could be fired from their jobs, ripped away from their families and deported from the only country they know as home. Among the Dreamers at risk of deportation is Esmeralda, a Dreamer from Kansas who moved to the United States as a two-year-old baby. She and her fiancé, Michael, are parents to a one-year-old baby girl who is a United States citizen. Michael is a U.S. Army soldier and is set to be deployed overseas next month. . An ad highlighting Esmeralda’s story can be found here.
Today is the last day lawmakers can pass legislation to protect Dreamers and ensure that USCIS has the time it needs to implement what Congress passes by the March 5deadline put forward by the Trump Administration. Without congressional action, hundreds of thousands of Dreamers face deportation to countries they have no memory of.
Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to congressional leaders urging lawmakers to pass legislation to protect Dreamers by January 19. In the letter, Secretaries Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson — appointed during the Bush and Obama Administrations — wrote that:
“There is a misconception that because President Trump rescinded the program in a fashion where the number of individuals losing DACA escalates dramatically starting March 5th, there is no urgency about addressing Dreamer’s status or that this executive authorization can be further extended. In fact, DACA has been rescinded and legislation is the only permanent way to prevent these Dreamers from losing work authorization and becoming subject to immediate deportation.”
They write that January 19 “should be seen as an actual best-case deadline based on our collective experience with these administrative and security requirements.” Congress must act to protect Dreamers now.
Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) yesterday introduced the bipartisan USA Act, which strengthens border security and creates an earned pathway to citizenship for America’s Dreamers. The legislation would provide certainty and clarity to hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and their loved ones who worry every day whether they’ll be able to continue living, working and serving their communities in the only country they know as home.
Since September 5, more than 16,000 Dreamers have lost work authorization and deportation protections. Without congressional action, hundreds of thousands of Dreamers will fall out of status this year, placing them at immediate risk of deportation from the only country they know as home. Dreamers have shown incredible courage and love for their country each and every day, despite not knowing whether they will have permission to continue contributing in the near future. Congress must do right by them in January.
Below please find quotes from lawmakers on the new bipartisan USA Act:
Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX): “After multiple attempts to find a solution, it’s time to narrow our strategy. Our plan offers a permanent legislative solution for children who came here of no fault of their own – while achieving operational control of the border by 2020. Americans are tired of partisan gridlock. They deserve solutions. This is about Congress doing our job and it proves that R’s and D’s are willing to work together to unite and secure America.”
Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-CA): “For too long, Congress has asked hundreds of thousands of young people to put their lives on hold while we play politics with their futures. This bill represents a real bipartisan compromise that will provide a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers, and allow for a reasonable approach to securing our border. One of my top priorities is to ensure that these young people can continue the lives they’ve built here, and the USA Act will do just that.”
Congressman Jeff Denham (R-CA): “The government asked Dreamers to come out of the shadows, and it’s time for Congress to pass legislation that will allow them to truly move forward with their lives. The only way to accomplish this is through compromise that includes border security measures. DACA recipients are American in every way possible except on paper. They have paid their fees, passed background checks and are working, pursuing college degrees, or serving in our military to contribute to the greatness of America.”
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM): “Democrats and Republicans stand united with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose deporting Dreamers. There is nothing political or partisan about protecting Dreamers, in fact there is agreement and bipartisanship because we all recognize the important contributions that these young people are making to our communities and our country. The USA Act is fair, bipartisan, targeted legislation that provides Dreamers with certainty, enacts common sense border security measures, and should be passed without delay.”
Congresswoman Mia Love (R-UT): “I’m proud of the work we’ve done on this important cause. The USA Act represents a strong bipartisan compromise that would provide a lasting fix for DACA recipients as well as enhanced border security. Congress has kicked the can to the end of the road, and the American people want action. This is the right way forward, and I hope to see it used as the starting point as a final product begins to take form in the coming days.”
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX): “As we face another government shutdown, it is clear that we are long overdue in providing a solution for hundreds of thousands of hardworking immigrants across the United States. As someone who lives on the border and understands the border, I am glad to see that the USA Act will also implement necessary commonsense border security measures that will keep our borders and citizens safe. I believe that this bipartisan bill is an important step in addressing concerns regarding immigration, border security, and DACA, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in congress on these key issues.”
Congressman David Valadao (R-CA): “With the March deadline quickly approaching, it is more critical than ever that Congress come together to provide a legal path forward for Dreamers. The USA Act is a reasonable, bipartisan solution to ensure these young people may remain in the only home they know, the United States.”
WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on the introduction of new bipartisan legislation that creates an earned pathway to citizenship for Dreamers:
“We are incredibly encouraged that a bipartisan group of 40 lawmakers came together over the weekend to produce a tailored bill to protect Dreamers and increase border security. We want to thank Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Pete Aguilar (D-CA) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) and others for their leadership to strengthen border security and to protect Dreamers from deportation. Their bill will provide certainty and clarity to hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and their loved ones who worry every day whether they’ll be able to continue living, working, and serving their communities in the only country they know as home. This bill strengthens border security – after a decade of substantial investments that have already dramatically reduced apprehensions to the lowest levels in modern history – and it will build on that progress.
“We believe this legislation would pass with well over 218 votes in the House and over 60 votes in the Senate if brought to the floor right now. We are at a critical point for Dreamers, and for the future of our country: while 122 Dreamers are falling out of status every single day, that number will escalate exponentially if Congress fails to pass legislation and gives DHS sufficient time to implement any new program. America is Dreamers’ home. The time to pass legislation to protect Dreamers is now.”
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