Senate Sharply Rebukes Trump’s Ploy to Use Dreamers as a Pawn

February 15, 2018

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Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Senate Sharply Rebukes Trump’s Ploy to Use Dreamers as a Pawn

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate today did not cast enough votes to approve any proposal to solve the crisis created by President Trump’s decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Of the four amendments put up for a vote, one that mirrored President Trump’s proposal received the least support, with only 39 votes. The bipartisan USA Act, sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Christopher Coons (D-DE), garnered majority support but fell shy of the 60 votes needed to move forward.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Despite the good-faith efforts of many on both sides of the aisle, we still don’t have a fix for Dreamers — and that’s on President Trump. Trump dragged us into this crisis when he ended DACA. And he has consistently been the barrier standing in the way of a solution.

“Congress has put forward numerous bipartisan proposals, including some that were voted on today. This was Trump’s opportunity to get the deal he’s been saying he wants.

“Instead of working toward a compromise, he and his band of anti-immigrant extremists tacked on to a proposal that lawmakers from both parties resoundingly rebuked. His veto threat today killed any chance at a bipartisan solution before senators even voted. This and his equivocating and destructive actions over the past months confirm that he’s never been serious about resolving this crisis of his own making. It’s clear that to Trump, Dreamers are just a pawn to enact his white supremacist agenda.

“Republican and Democratic members of Congress alike need to stand up and reject these political games. Dreamers urgently need you to act. The onus is still on you to enact a narrowly tailored, bipartisan solution. It’s not only what Americans want, it’s the right thing to do.

“For now, the courts have stepped in — as they’ve done time and again in ruling against the Trump administration over the past year — to protect our communities and provide some relief from this administration’s unlawful actions, even if only temporarily. But make no mistake, DACA recipients continue to lose protections every day and will start doing so at an accelerated rate come March 5. The need for a permanent solution hasn’t changed.

“This is a difficult moment, but we are strong and resolute in our mission. We will continue to fight alongside immigrant youth and our allies — in the courts, in Washington, and with communities across the country — to secure a real solution for immigrant youth.”