ICYMI – Republican Congressman Curbelo: No Support for Appropriations Bill Until Dreamer Protections Passed

Wanted to make sure you’d seen this – Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo has said that he will not support an appropriations bill that funds the government beyond December 31 unless it includes permanent protections for Dreamers.

“I would support any of these [Dreamer] bills. I don’t care which one gets passed. We need to get this done,” he said, adding that he “will not support any appropriations bill that funds the government beyond December 31 unless we get this DACA issue resolved.”

If Congress fails to pass and implement a permanent legislative solution by March 5, approximately 1,700 Dreamers will lose their jobs every single business day between March 6 and November 6 of 2018. Nearly 800,000 individuals who are currently employed and contributing as productive members of the American workforce would lose their work authorization and could be fired over the course of two years.

Below are two articles from the Miami Herald highlighting the absolute urgency with which Congress must act to protect Dreamers, as well as Congressman Curbelo’s announcement that he will not support any budget deal unless it includes a solution for Dreamers.

Miami Herald // David Smiley and Alex Daugherty // Two Miami Republicans won’t vote for spending bill unless Dreamers are protected

Two Miami Republicans won’t vote for spending bill unless Dreamers are protected


Congress faces a Dec. 8 deadline to fund the federal government, and Republican leaders are usually reliant on Democratic support to pass federal spending proposals that rankle deficit-conscious conservatives.

As the deadline approaches, Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican who usually supports House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Tuesday he won’t support any long-term funding legislation unless there’s a deal to help undocumented young adults who came to the U.S. as young children. If enough Republicans follow Curbelo’s path, Ryan could be forced to find a solution in order to keep the government running.

“House leadership knows it is a major priority for me to get this done before the end of the year,” Curbelo said in an interview. “I know that we have until March [before an Obama-era executive order expires], but there’s no sense in waiting that long.”

Curbelo has faced criticism from Democrats for not signing onto the Dream Act, a legislative solution to the Obama order that protects Dreamers from deportation. Instead, Curbelo is pushing his own bill called the Recognizing America’s Children Act, which he touts as a more conservative version of the Dream Act. Curbelo has said he will support any legislation that helps Dreamers if it comes to the floor for a vote, even if it isn’t his bill.

President Donald Trump said he will not renew the Obama-era executive order, known as DACA, which will end in March 2018.

Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, an original co-sponsor of the Dream Act, also said she will not back a long-term spending bill without Dreamer protection.

“I agree with my friend Carlos’ position and I won’t be voting for a long-term spending bill unless it includes protections for our Dreamers,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “We need to help these young men and women who are as American as apple pie. Congress must come through with a legislative fix for those who want to positively contribute to the only country they know.”

Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, part of an informal working group established by Ryan to find a solution for Dreamers, stopped short of endorsing Curbelo’s stance.
“As a member of both the Appropriations Committee and the Speaker’s immigration taskforce, he’s heavily involved in the negotiations on immigration and government funding and recognizes how significant these issues are,” said Diaz-Balart spokeswoman Katrina Bishop. “Because of the sensitivity of these talks, I’d prefer not to speculate.”

It is possible that congressional leaders will propose a short-term spending bill to keep the government running through Christmas, which gives Democrats and Republicans more time to hash out a final plan. Curbelo said his position on first helping some 800,000 young immigrants applies specifically to “any appropriations bill that funds the government beyond Dec. 31.”

Curbelo, among 13 Republicans who earlier this month demanded a solution for young immigrants by the end of the year, announced his hardline stance Tuesday morning during a gathering at the University of Miami called by the IMPAC Fund, a bipartisan fund formed by healthcare magnate and former GOP mega-donor Mike Fernandez to aid groups that provide legal services to unauthorized immigrants facing removal from the U.S.

“We need to get this done,” Curbelo said. “How it gets done is of less importance to me.”

Curbelo was speaking as part of a panel with Reps. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, and Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and moderated by CNN commentator Ana Navarro. Deutch said he agreed with Curbelo’s stance — “I don’t think we should do anything until we take this up” — and Navarro said there were Republican boosters in the audience taking a similar position.

“We’ve got big Republican donors in the room saying not one more cent until we get something done,” she said.

Miami Herald // Fabiola Santiago // Every day that House Speaker Paul Ryan fails to call vote is a threat to Dreamers

Every day that House Speaker Paul Ryan fails to call vote is a threat to Dreamers


House Speaker Paul Ryan should’ve been in Miami on Tuesday.

To start with, he might have peeked at the future in one powerful and stirring rendition of “God Bless America” by an a cappella group made up of students from all over the hemisphere.

They were the closing act of an immigration summit Tuesday at the University of Miami that gathered business, faith, education, political, and civic leaders across the political spectrum. Through powerful storytelling, leadership and call to action, the powerful moment they created seemed to place this city of immigrants where it belongs: at the forefront of the fight for the legalization of American youth known as Dreamers.

We’ve witnessed enough strife, enough families torn apart. We’ve witnessed injustice, partisanship, and political cowardice. We’ve seen too many of our own turn their backs on people who are immigrants — just like we once were — and join the Trumpian chorus of immigrant demonization, false pride, and fake patriotism.

“I’m angry at the lack of empathy from my community,” said Cuban-American Republican businessman Mike Fernandez. And that anger has moved him to do something. He not only masterminded the gathering, but has formed the IMPAC Fund to put money behind the effort to push for the legalization of the undocumented living among us, some for decades.

He’s angry, Fernandez added without naming the president, at rhetoric “scripted to divide us.” He sought to turn the narrative around, inviting Dreamers to tell their stories, congressional leaders to pledge support, and advocates to set a course for action. It might only have been a byproduct of the extraordinary talent in the room, but it was good to feel that communal Miami vibe that seemed to have faded after the last presidential election.

But with the clock ticking in Congress for Dreamers, we’re finally living up to who we are — and Fernandez and the others proved that we have the economic and political power to push back on President Donald Trump’s assault on immigrants. Dreamers shouldn’t be a bargaining chip on a tax or spending bill. They shouldn’t be cause for division but a reason to come together.

In poll after poll, most Americans have made it clear that they want Dreamers to stay, to continue to thrive in the only country they call home, and become what they deserve to be: full-fledged citizens.

The South Florida congressmen present — Republican Carlos Curbelo and Democrats Frederica Wilson and Ted Deutch — said they have the votes in Congress to pass a bipartisan version of the Dream Act now.

So what gives?

House Speaker Paul Ryan must prioritize the issue of legalization — and call for a vote immediately. Everyday that he fails to do that, Ryan puts Dreamers at risk of deportation, as 122 Dreamers a day lose the only protection they have — the DACA program Trump rescinded and that expires in March.

The first step is that simple: Ryan must call for a vote.

The pressure will then shift to the Senate, where there’s also enough momentum to pass legislation.

In the hoopla over Trump’s tax bill and the Dec. 8 deadline to fund the government, the Dreamers shouldn’t be shortchanged.
These young people — active, energetic, committed to this country — prove over and over again that they make the best of Americans.

In their quest, the Dreamers are already making a difference.

They’re helping all of us take the national conversation, hijacked by Trump in pursuit of power, back to the noble founding idea that this tapestry of a nation was — and is — forged by waves of immigration.

It’s time to give up pandering to the president’s divisive gig, Mr. Speaker, and protect these young people.


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