Thursday, May 24News That Matters

Over 250 groups to Congress: 'Focus on protecting Dreamers, not remaking the immigration system'

Campaign Action

More than 250 immigrant, refugee, faith, labor, education, health, civil liberties, and progressive organizations—including Daily Kos—are calling on Congress to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and pass the DREAM Act now. Each day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan delay, another 122 DACA recipients lose their work permits and protection from deportation.

But, just as importantly, the letter states that “protecting Dreamers cannot come at the cost of harming other immigrants or immigrant communities, nor can it entail militarizing the border, keeping families apart, or undermining life-saving humanitarian protections.” Meaning, any bipartisan immigration deal cannot include President Stephen Miller’s white supremacist immigration wishlist cutting legal immigration, something only 17 percent of Americans support.

Let’s be clear: The White House Framework would take the country backwards in an echo of restrictive policies not seen since the 1920s, while using the fate of Dreamers as bait. Congress must reject these nativist overtures. President Trump and Congressional Republicans created this moral crisis and it is up to them to work in good faith with Democrats to reach a narrow agreement that pairs a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers with smart and sensible border security measures.

Members of Congress must oppose efforts to hold Dreamers hostage in exchange for a nativist wish list. Anything that goes beyond the scope of the original agreement from last fall—namely, protecting Dreamers and making additional investments in reasonable border security—must be rejected.

Among the issues the organizations urging resistance to are Trump and Miller’s demands for a stupid border wall, ramping up of the deportation force, dismantling family reunification (derided by nativists as “chain migration”), and eliminating the diversity visa system. “The American people expect Congress to lead in the face of this crisis,” the letter continues. “Polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for Dreamers. We will be watching how members of both parties vote, and expect them to focus on protecting Dreamers, not remaking the immigration system.”