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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education fund, regarding the legislative proposal introduced today by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and co-sponsored by John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), James Lankford (R-OK.), Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA):
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bill today that pretends to deal with the Dreamer crisis. Their true intent is to block bipartisan efforts to solve it.
Their proposal is a witch’s brew of nativist poison pills topped by a stingy, temporary three-year reprieve for those with DACA. Put bluntly, the Grassley-Cornyn bill says, “give us everything we want in exchange for almost nothing you want, deal?”
This is a con job to derail relief for Dreamers. Earlier today we called out the Cornyn Con. It’s a pattern well-established over the last decade by Senator Cornyn when it comes to immigration reform measures: Cornyn pretends he wants to help immigrants and to get immigration reform enacted; he convinces some of his fellow Republicans that he’s acting in good faith; he makes sure that Democrats can never agree to his demands; he then proclaims that Democrats are demanding too much and tries to take as many Republicans with him as possible in an effort to blow up any prospect of a bipartisan breakthrough. He’s done this repeatedly for over a decade.
The Grassley bill is right out of this Cornyn Con playbook. Cornyn and Grassley met with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) just to say they did. But their goal is not a bipartisan breakthrough; it’s to consolidate Republican support for a proposal clearly unacceptable to Democrats. This isn’t about teeing up legislation, it’s about teeing up the blame game. This is what Americans hate about politicians: they pretend to want a solution when their intention is to block one.
We are confident that those serious about solving the crisis will ignore the Grassley-Cornyn maneuver and instead focus on a bipartisan approach that actually enacts the Dream Act and can be included on must-pass legislation by the end of the year. Anything less would be an error of historic proportions.