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Through a combination of dysfunction, ineptitude and moral cowardice, Congress is lurching towards the end of 2017 without having resolved the urgent crisis of DACA recipients and other young immigrants. Imagine having a strong majority of votes in both congressional chambers and having the power to resolve this crisis … and choosing not to act. That’s the moment we’ve arrived at.
More than 80% of the public, including two-thirds of Republicans, back legal status for Dreamers and efforts to keep them here in America. A solid majority of members of Congress in both chambers would vote for a Dreamer solution if given the chance. And Dreamers are under threat and need Congress to act right now – as the examples of young people like Osman Enriquez and Brittany Aguilera demonstrate in dramatic fashion.
The rumor mill is rife with the notion that Congress is now looking to punt on a Dreamer fix, at least for a few weeks. Our elected representatives should know what’s at stake: as Cristina Jiménez, executive director of United We Dream, said to HuffPost, “Delay means deportation.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Because of the cruelty of the Trump Administration and the inaction and intransigence of Congress, hundreds of thousands of Dreamers’ lives now hang in the balance. Futures are being upended every day. This is a moment for choosing.
Congress must act. Republicans have to stop pretending that later is better, when everyone who understands how Congress works knows that later means never. Anything less than Dreamer relief now is a vote to fund the deportation of these remarkable young Americans.
That’s right. A vote for a spending bill without a legislative fix for Dreamers is a vote to deport Dreamers. Any bill that funds the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year will include funds for Trump’s unshackled deportation force. As a hundred Dreamers a day lose their DACA status, a number expected to balloon in a matter of weeks, Congress must resolve this crisis immediately by including a solution with the must-pass spending bills before Congress. If not, a vote to fund deportations without a solution for Dreamers will go down in history as a one of America’s darkest chapters.