Voting for a 2018 Government Funding Bill Without Including Relief for Dreamers is a Dangerous Idea
Yesterday’s White House meeting with Republican Senators made clear that President Trump and many Republicans are more interested in delaying action and obstructing progress than resolving the status of America’s Dreamers.
Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Congress must vote to fund government operations for 2018 before the holidays, and that will inevitably include funding for the agencies that carry out deportations. If the Dream Act is not included, and with DACA now ended, a vote to fund deportation agencies in 2018 would be a vote to deport Dreamers. Republican talk of ‘we’ll do it next year and on our terms’ is really just a way to say ‘we’re not really going to do it, and we’re going to try to blame Democrats.’ We don’t want political games, we want the Dream Act. Democrats are ready. It’s up to Republicans to get serious about getting it done before Congress goes home for the holidays.
Republicans yesterday left the White House meeting saying that a legislative fix for Dreamers should not be attached to the omnibus spending bill, set for congressional action in December. But this spending package will include funding for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at a time when DACA recipients and other young immigrants are already being targeted for deportation. As the Trump Administration has made clear and recent examples demonstrate, everyone is a priority for deportation, including Dreamers who lose DACA protections.
Every Republican senator and Member of Congress needs to decide: are they ready to fund the deportation of Dreamers? The Dream Act is bipartisan legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans from across the political spectrum. So far, Republican leaders have been unwilling to schedule a vote on it, due to objections from their radical base. But if they want to lead and resolve the issue they could do it easily, this year. The votes exist in Congress to pass the Dream Act on a bipartisan basis. The only thing needed is the will of Republican leaders – who control the agenda – to allow it to be included in must-pass legislation this year.