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Senator Brown Shows Leadership and Character on Dreamer Legislation, While Senator Portman Delivers “Slap in the Face”

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With Two Bipartisan, Centrist Proposals to Choose From, Portman Still Found a Way to Get to No

Cleveland, OH – The U.S. Senate wrapped up its debate on immigration today, and once again failed to advance a solution for America’s Dreamers.  Senator Brown voted in favor of two bipartisan amendments that would have helped Dreamers and came close to passing, while Senator Portman voted no.  In the end, Portman voted only for an extremist White House proposal that didn’t even come close to passing.

Jose Mendez, Cleveland Director of Dream Activist Ohio, said: “Today Senator Portman signed my Deportation Order. He has no leadership skills and does not belong in the Senate. The President failed once more to make a compromise and was misled by racist people like Stephen Miller. To all Dreamers: the fight is not over.”

“Despite the fact that there were two bipartisan, centrist amendments to choose from–one amendment drafted by Senators McCain and Coons, and the other by Senators Rounds and King–Senator Rob Portman still found a way to get to no on reasonable solutions. He knows full well that the only way a bill passes out of the Senate is if it’s bipartisan, because neither party controls 60 votes. Turning his back on compromise means turning his back on Dreamers, full stop,” said Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice Ohio. “With a few more votes, the Rounds-King amendment or the McCain-Coons amendment would have advanced. Senator Portman made sure to do nothing to help it.  This is both shameful and disgraceful when you consider what is at stake for Dreamers and their families.”

Deb Kline, Director Cleveland Jobs with Justice, said: “Once again, Senator Rob Portman has shown all of Ohio that he really does not listen to his constituents who have been calling on him for the last several months to support Dreamers in Ohio and across the United States. He had an opportunity to do the right thing, but instead, chose to slam the door on hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who call this country home.”

When President Trump cancelled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, he created a family crisis for each DACA beneficiary, throwing their jobs, homes, and futures into uncertainty. Despite promising to work with Congress to achieve a replacement for the policy, he has opposed every bipartisan package and continuously moved the goalposts on what type of bill he would support.

Meanwhile, every day, Dreamers are losing their work permits and once again facing deportation from their homes, and permanent separation from their families.  Americans overwhelmingly support a law that would allow Dreamers to apply for full American citizenship.

Tramonte continued: “Senator Sherrod Brown showed great leadership and character by voting for amendments that would create a real path to citizenship for America’s Dreamers.  Senator Portman once told Ohio Dreamers that he supports them, but honestly, this looks more like a slap in the face.”