DACA is not a permanent solution to our immigration debate, but it is a promise that law-abiding young people won’t be deported prematurely and that loving families need not endure the pain of unjust separation.
Congress met last week, just days before Christmas, to vote on a federal spending bill, called a continuing resolution, or C.R. Several Democrats had threatened to vote against such a funding measure if it did not include legal protections for young immigrants who’d been granted deferred action on deportation. Activists and many lawmakers had said they were willing to force a government shutdown unless the issue was addressed, and they could have succeeded.
Several senators, however, voted to pass the stopgap spending bill, averting a partial government shutdown, but pushing into January a showdown on the direction of our immigration policies.
Today’s Christmas hope for over 700,000 faithful Dreamers residing in the United States is that their contributions to our country will continue to be appreciated and that America will honor her promises.
Despite the reported economic benefits of DACA and the cultural enrichment inherent in America due to the diversity of her population, the Trump administration continues to espouse evidence-free rationale for its divisive actions. The failure of Congress to support Dreamers means that nearly 4,000 law-abiding young DACA recipients will lose their status between now and January 19.
Despite the valiant efforts of Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, (D-Ill) to keep the Dream Act at the forefront of last week’s vote, Dreamers must wait for the new year to discover their fate.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is one Arizona Democrat who apparently looked forward to getting home to her family in time for Christmas, and voted to deport Dreamers.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, (R-FL) took the hard line, voting to pass the Federal Spending bill, postponing the immigration debate until January, despite confrontation by a group of Dreamers led by Rep. Luis Gutierrez D-Ill, before the vote.
Rep. Tom O’Halleran, (D-AZ) slammed Congressional leaders for failing to pass a clean Dream Act but still voted to pass the spending bill.
The unanimous Christmas wish this morning for thousands of America’s Dreamers is to stay united with their families in, what is for many, the only home they’ve ever known. For our elected officials, A clean Dream Act should not be just a hope, but a responsibility they are more than willing to bear, and a cause for which they are willing to fight, even on Christmas.