Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

Congress Again Leaves Dreamers Stranded in Fear

Today’s agreement funds the government past Trump’s arbitrary March 5 deadline to end DACA, with no solution for Dreamers in sight. Our communities are again left stranded in uncertainty and fear.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C./CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Friday, February 9, 2018 — The human rights organization Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) announced this morning its outrage that Congress again failed to address the fate of 690,000 Dreamers before passing a spending deal. “Today’s agreement funds the government past Trump’s arbitrary March 5 deadline to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, with still no long-term solution for Dreamers in sight. Our communities are again left stranded in uncertainty and fear,” said Josh Leach, UUSC’s associate for programs, research, and advocacy:

Leach was not comforted by Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s announced bid to hold a debate on a shell immigration bill next week, with no end to the amendments that might be introduced –a plan that Leach likened to a Trojan Horse.

“McConnell’s commitment opens the city gates to attempts to extort anti-immigrant concessions in exchange for Dreamer protections, along the lines of Trump’s anti-family and anti-diversity ‘four pillars’,” Leach said. ” There is absolutely no basis for Trump to harm other immigrants in exchange for protections that he needlessly took away. That’s called ransom, not governing.

“Ruling by protection racket is a tactic we’re sadly coming to see all too often in this nation of late, and it is not acceptable,” said Leach.

Leach said UUSC “hopes that McConnell’s vague Senate floor debate promise was not merely a sleight of hand to accelerate passage of the government spending deal.

“UUSC and thousands of Dreamer activists and allies across the country have been clear and consistent in calling for Congress to end the needless catastrophe that the White House made when it ended DACA, but Dreamers have not at any time been willing to accept their own long-term protection at the cost of harming other members of the community,” said Leach.

“The same cannot be said for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who still insists he will not bring a bill to vote that does not have the White House’s approval. This likely means a border wall, slashing family migration and other measures that are not only destructive but have nothing to do with DACA.”

Leach said, “Unlike Trump’s ‘framework’ and the free-for-all that McConnell and perhaps others in the Senate are proposing, DACA holders and Dream Act advocates have not tried to tack on any legislation or goals to the issue immediately at hand — a Dream Act and clear path to citizenship.

“Advocates, Dreamers and their families have kept their demands targeted and reasonable throughout, asking simply for a clean Dream Act. This – not Trump’s extremist demands – is the true ‘down-the-middle’ compromise. It is a modest and limited resolution of a single immigration crisis, rather than the long-term comprehensive reforms we all eventually want to see,” Leach said.

“Chief of Staff John Kelly dismissed the hope this week that Trump might extend his bogus March 5 deadline and added in the process to the White House cesspool of crude, misleading and ill-spirited remarks about immigrants that we’ve heard from the White House in recent weeks. It all means one thing: time is running out,” said Leach, “Congress must act now to pass a clean bipartisan solution.”

Leach said that “UUSC will join with coalitions and activists in holding our legislators to this single clean Dream Act focus that could on its own restore the faith of so many Americans in our struggling Congress.

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