Tell DSCC and DCCC: No support for Democrats who voted to deport Dreamers
In December, 31 congressional Democrats voted to deport nearly 1 million immigrant young people.1
When Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September, Democrats promised to use their leverage during the end-of-year budget fight to ensure that permanent protection for DACA recipients was part of the spending bill. Instead, they protected their political futures and turned their backs on Dreamers, their families and their communities.
The 31 Democrats who helped pass Republicans’ year-end spending bill without a clean DREAM Act voted to deport Dreamers and advance Trump’s white supremacist agenda. They turned their backs on their party’s base and their party’s values. Democratic party leaders must take a stand, draw a bright line and refuse to support the congressional campaigns of anyone in this Deportation Caucus.
Tell the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC): Do not support any congressional Democrat who voted to deport Dreamers.
Democrats claim to be the party of the resistance to Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant regime, yet fail time and time again to put their words into action. In the months leading up to the budget fight, Democratic leaders tried to stave off pressure from immigrant rights groups and progressive allies by saying that their lack of urgency to pass a clean DREAM Act was in fact a long-term strategy to get it done at the end of the year.2 Their promises and posturing came to nothing.
Though House Democrats could not have stopped Republicans from approving the spending bill, they could have drawn a bright line between themselves and Republicans’ racism and xenophobia by voting against it. On Dec. 22, 14 House Democrats sided with Republicans and turned their backs on immigrants by advancing the bill. Once it was in the Senate, the year-end spending bill needed 60 votes to move forward, which means that Democrats had the power to demand protection for Dreamers in exchange for their votes. But 17 Senate Democrats refused to use their leverage to stand up for immigrants and helped Republicans approve a spending package that did not include any protections for Dreamers. This is not just a failure by each of those Democrats, but also a massive failure of leadership.
Cowardly Democratic leaders in both houses failed to act. They gave lip service to Dreamers but refused to rally their entire caucus around the leadership of Rep. Gutierrez and Sens. Warren, Sanders, and Harris who promised to force Republicans to shut down the government if they refused to include a clean DREAM Act in the end-of-year spending package. They ignored a massive outpouring of activism – including hunger strikes – from undocumented young people and their allies. They were so afraid of the personal political consequences of forcing Republicans to shut down the government that they refused to stand up for and protect Dreamers.
Instead of leading the resistance to Trump, Democrats keep kicking the can on relief for Dreamers, playing politics with people’s lives and allowing Republicans to use Dreamers as bargaining chips to criminalize and deport other immigrants and get funding for Trump’s wall. Democrats who refused to push for a clean DREAM Act sent a cruel and racist message to the immigrants in their districts: You are expendable. That’s why we’re teaming up with our friends at United We Dream and Presente to demand that the DSCC and DCCC take bold action now.
Tell the DSCC and the DCCC: Do not support any congressional Democrat who voted to deport Dreamers.
More than 14,000 Dreamers have already lost their work permits and protection from deportation.3 Every day that Congress waits to pass the DREAM Act, 122 more lose their legal status. Immigrant young people and their communities are living in fear, but recent reports indicate that Democrats are still not acting with urgency.
Once again, Democratic leaders are saying they will do everything they can to protect Dreamers, but their recent statements stop short of a hard commitment to attach the DREAM Act to the must-pass spending bill that Congress needs to approve by Jan. 19.4 That’s why we must do everything we can to make clear to Democratic party leaders that another failure on this issue is not an option.
Many of the Democrats who caved on the DREAM Act in December will be running for the same office or, in some cases, higher offices in 2018.5 If Democratic party leaders use party resources to support their campaigns, they will be supporting cowards who are enabling Trump’s racist, xenophobic agenda. Add your name now to make sure they know the progressive base of the Party demands better.
Thanks for standing with immigrants.
- CREDO, "Democrats who just voted to deport Dreamers graphic," posted Dec. 21, 2017.
- Rachel Blade and Heather Caygle, "Congress speeds toward shutdown over Dreamers," POLITICO, Nov. 21, 2017.
- Tom Jawetz and Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, "Thousands of DACA Recipients Are Already Losing Their Protection From Deportation," Center for American Progress, Nov. 9, 2017.
- Lisa Mascaro, "Trump aides and congressional leaders set to restart talks on budget and immigration," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 2, 2017.
- Ed O'Keefe, "Democrats unlikely to force DACA vote this week, probably averting shutdown," The Washington Post, Dec. 19, 2017.