Fighting Back: To DREAMers: “You are not alone. We won’t stop fighting for you.”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

We are calling on the Republican leaders of the Senate and the House — Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan — to bring the bipartisan DREAM Act to the floor. If they do, I’m confident that the DREAM Act will pass both chambers of Congress on a strong bipartisan vote and then it will be up to President Trump to sign the Dream Act and make it the law of the land. […]

The American people are calling out for this. Seventy-five percent of Americans—including 70 percent of Republicans—want the DREAMers to stay in this country they call home. […] [To the DREAMERers]: You are not alone. I won’t stop fighting for you, and together, with my colleagues in Congress and our fellow Americans, we will ensure that you are here to stay.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Transcript: Illinois Senator Dick Durbin Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

Last week, we were dealt the heartbreaking news that the Trump Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as ‘DACA.’

DACA provides temporary legal status to immigrant students if they register with the government, pay a fee, and pass criminal and national security background checks.

The young people protected by DACA are known as DREAMers. They came to the United States as children. They grew up singing the Star Spangled Banner and pledging allegiance to the American flag.

It was seven years ago that Republican Senator Dick Lugar and I sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to establish the DACA program.

The President responded to our request, and DACA has been a huge success. Approximately 800,000 Dreamers have come forward and received DACA, which has allowed them to contribute more fully to their country as teachers, nurses, engineers, first responders, and service members.

But today, across the nation, thousands of Dreamers – and their families and friends – are afraid. Because of this Administration’s decision to end DACA, 800,000 young people who were brought to the United States as children will lose their ability to work and be subject to deportation. Ending DACA will set in motion rolling mass deportations over the course of more than two years.

Don’t believe the spin—repealing DACA was never about ‘putting America first’ or ‘protecting American workers’. Dreamers grew up in this country and are American in every way except their immigration status. They are job creators, not job stealers. A study by the Center for American Progress finds that ending DACA would cost the United States at least $433.4 billion in gross domestic product over the next 10 years.

The President says that it’s up to Congress to fix this, and he gave us six months to do it. Congress now has an urgent and closing window to right this wrong and prevent a humanitarian and economic catastrophe for these young people, their families, their communities, and for our country. The deportation clock is ticking.

It was sixteen years ago that I first introduced the DREAM Act. This bipartisan legislation would give a path to citizenship to Dreamers. In July, I introduced the most recent version of the DREAM Act with my friend Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. This bipartisan bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.

We are calling on the Republican leaders of the Senate and the House—Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan—to bring the bipartisan DREAM Act to the floor. If they do, I’m confident that the DREAM Act will pass both chambers of Congress on a strong bipartisan vote and then it will be up to President Trump to sign the DREAM Act and make it the law of the land.

When we introduced the DREAM Act, Senator Graham said, ‘the moment of reckoning is coming.’

Well, that moment has come.

The American people are calling out for this. Seventy-five percent of Americans—including 70 percent of Republicans—want the DREAMers to stay in this country they call home.

It’s time to stand up. It’s time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

Those members of Congress on the wrong side of history will bear responsibility for forcing hundreds of thousands of talented young immigrants out of the workforce and putting them at risk of immediate deportation.

As for this United States Senator, I’ll do everything in my power to protect these DREAMers and give them the chance to become citizens so they can contribute to a brighter future for all Americans.

My final message is for all the DREAMers out there who are in despair: do not lose faith. Keep going to work. Keep working for your families, your communities, and your country.

You are not alone. I won’t stop fighting for you, and together, with my colleagues in Congress and our fellow Americans, we will ensure that you are here to stay.

Any bolding has been added.

~

Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi. Good morning, everyone.

As you know, last night [Senate Democratic Leader] Chuck Schumer and I had a very productive meeting with President Trump, where we agreed to a plan to work out an agreement to protect our nation’s DREAMers from deportation.

We insisted that the bipartisan DREAM Act, the one introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, would be the basis for the protection and that we would review border security measures that do not include building a wall as we go forward.

We also urged, on another subject, we urged the President to make permanent the cost sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier in the day, [Democratic Whip Steny] Hoyer and I, along with the chairs of the Tri-Caucus – that would be the [Congressional] Hispanic Caucus, the [Congressional] Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus – we had a very good meeting with the Speaker [Paul Ryan] in which we agreed to move forward to try to put the DREAM Act on the floor as soon as possible.

He, too, wanted to see some border initiatives, which we said we would look into. We suggested to him and to the White House the McCaul-Thompson border security package that unanimously passed the Homeland Security Committee.

Any solution to the challenges facing the DREAMers must include the bipartisan DREAM Act, as I said, sponsored by [Congressionwoman] Lucille Roybal-Allard.

As you know, I think you must be aware, the faith community, the business community have implored Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

And the American people, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, support action. Seventy-six percent of Americans support citizenship or permanent status: well over 50 percent citizenship for the DREAMers, with only 15 percent backing deportation. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans back either citizenship or permanent status versus 24 percent of Republicans who support deportation.

So this is about not just the young people. That would be justification enough to do this. This is about who we are as Americans. And it’s pretty exciting that so many people are rallying to the DREAMers.

Our American values, our faith and our basic human decency demand that we pass the DREAM Act and prevent the senseless deportation of hundreds of thousands of patriotic young Americans.

Hopefully, Congress well, hopefully – we’re more than hoping. We’re working for Congress to get this done soon.

Later today, House and Senate Democrats will also unveil our newest legislation for child care for working families, called the Child Care for Working Families Act, as part of our Better Deal. It’s a bold solution to close the gap to access affordable quality childcare and early education. It is a bill to put children on the path to success tomorrow and parents on the path to bigger paychecks today. Children learning, parents earning, that’s our mantra.

And, again, A Better Deal means better jobs, creating better jobs, raising incomes for American workers, lowering cost for American families, and giving every American the tools to succeed in the 21st century. This falls into the lowering cost category.

Democrats will continue to advance and expand on our Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Future.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

~

More on the status of the DREAM Act and congressional negotiations:

Pelosi and Schumer Joint Statement

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued this joint statement following dinner with President Trump:

“President Trump’s Tweets are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night. As we said last night, there was no final deal, but there was agreement on the following:

We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act.

“What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible. While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement, the President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.

“Both sides agreed that the White House and the Democratic leaders would work out a border security package. Possible proposals were discussed including new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border and the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson bill.”

~

Pelosi Dear Colleague on Meeting with President Trump Regarding the Protection of DREAMers

September 13, 2017

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Tonight, Leader Schumer and I had a productive meeting with President Trump where we agreed to a plan to work out an agreement to protect our nation’s DREAMers from deportation.

We insisted that the bipartisan DREAM Act would be the basis for that protection and that we would review border security measures that didn’t include building a wall.

We also urged the President to make permanent the cost sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier in the day, Leader Hoyer and I, along with the Tri-Caucus Chairs, met with Speaker Ryan to encourage passage of the DREAM Act. He suggested that he may need border security measures and we suggested the McCaul-Thompson border security package that unanimously passed the Homeland Security Committee.

Any solution to the challenge facing the DREAMers must include the DREAM Act sponsored by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. I will keep you posted on any suggestions about border security that we receive.

Hopefully, we can get this all done in a matter of weeks.

best regards,

Nancy

~

  3 comments for “Fighting Back: To DREAMers: “You are not alone. We won’t stop fighting for you.”

  1. JanF
    September 17, 2017 at 5:58 am

    DREAMers include Asian and Pacific Islanders.

    Pelosi Remarks at CAPAC Press Conference Calling for the Passage of the DREAM Act

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and Asian American DREAMers for a press conference urging the passage of the bipartisan, bicameral DREAM Act. :

    Leader Pelosi: Good afternoon, everyone! I’m honored to be here with the DREAMers who are perpetually advancing the American Dream. Their courage and their optimism and their inspiration. They make America more American. So I thank all three of them for being here and all of the DREAMers who have stepped forward.

    I wanted to just say something to this caucus and I’m so glad that the representatives of the [Congressional] Hispanic Caucus are here and the Congressional Black Caucus – we’re all in this together! And Congresswoman Judy Chu has been a champion on comprehensive immigration reform since day one, since she arrived here and is taking the lead right now and is demonstrating to America how many people are affected across the board.

    A week and a half ago, I was in Chicago and I saw this art exhibit I was invited to see. It is called ‘Then They Came For Me’ and it is about the internment of Japanese Americans, patriots in our country, who were brought to camps during World War II. While their family members were fighting for freedom for America and for the world, they were in camps. And they came for them. And now they are coming for the DREAMers. We owe these DREAMers for their patriotism, their courage, their optimism to come forward.

    But it is about America too, the fight is who were are as a country. They are the manifestation of that fight right now and we cannot let them come for them.

    So while the President thinks that giving six months’ time for Congress to act, we’re going to do that sooner. We’re going to do that within six weeks and hopefully we can by supporting the DREAM Act that is in the House and in the Senate. But we must pass something before we leave for Christmas. That’s for sure.

    But in doing so, we will not only be protecting the DREAMers, we will be protecting the integrity of our country. So thank you DREAMers for being stronger than anybody. For being stronger than anybody. And for actually taking some risks for your family to keep America the country we take pride in being. Thank you for your patriotism.

  2. JanF
    September 17, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Lost in the 10 minutes news cycle, Democrats introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act last week.

    (Senator Patty Murray, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduce comprehensive child care and early learning legislation that will ensure that every child has access to high-quality early learning and care that will not break the bank for their parents. The Child Care for Working Families Act is a part of Democrats commitment to giving working families a better deal by building an economy that works for all, not just those at the top.)

    News Release: Sen. Murray Introduces Bold, Comprehensive Child Care and Early Learning Bill to Bring Down Costs of Child Care

    “At a time when far too many working families are struggling, finding quality child care that doesn’t break the bank shouldn’t be another thing keeping parents up at night,” said Senator Murray. “As a former preschool teacher, I know what quality early learning and care can do for a child’s development, so I’m proud to introduce the Child Care for Working Families Act to address our child care crisis and support access to high-quality preschool so that all children are ready for kindergarten and beyond. This is not only the right to thing to for working families, but it’s a smart investment in our children, our future, and our economy.”

    The Child Care for Working Families Act would create a federal-state partnership to ensure families making less than 150 percent of their state’s median income do not pay more than seven percent of their income on child care. The bill also supports access to high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year olds, and strengthens support for our nation’s child care workforce by significantly improving wages and training for teachers and caregivers.

    Statement by Moms Rising: Pass the Child Care for Working Families Act Now!

    The Child Care for Working Families Act, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) today, would be a boon for our economy and for working families. At a time when many parents are struggling to make ends meet, this bill provides a comprehensive solution that would expand access to affordable, high-quality child care and pre-K for families while improving compensation and training for the child care workforce.

    Right now, millions of families are in crisis, with low-income families under even greater pressure. Child care costs have risen 25 percent in the past decade, and, in 30 states and the District of Columbia, infant care now costs more than college tuition. In addition, approximately half of American families live in a ‘child care desert’, meaning they can’t access the quality child care they need. This often leaves working parents in an impossible position, having to choose between providing for their families and paying for care. Parents need safe, enriching places for their children to be so they can work; and children need safe, enriching early education so they can thrive.

  3. JanF
    September 17, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Let’s see: Republicans hate DACA but don’t mind protecting the DREAMers. What could it be about DACA that makes them so irate? {insert thinking emoji here}

    Among people who “strongly approve” of Trump, 71 percent told Morning Consult that rescinding DACA was the “right thing to do.” (The rest were evenly split between “wrong thing” and “don’t know/no opinion.”)

    Compare that with the 35 percent of all registered voters in the same poll who believed rescinding DACA was the “right thing.” It was even more intense than the 57 percent of Republicans in that poll who believed it was the “right thing.”

    […]

    According to an early September poll from YouGov and HuffPost, 83 percent of Republicans thought Trump “made the right decision” on ending DACA. But as for whether Congress should pass a law to allow DREAMers to stay in the country, opinions were mixed: 42 percent said no, 31 percent said yes and 26 percent were unsure. […]

    Fully 46 percent of Republicans in that poll said they wanted Congress to pass a law that allows DREAMers to get citizenship. Another 24 percent said DREAMers should get legal status. Only 20 percent said they wanted legislation that removes or deports DREAMers.

    This bodes well for bipartisan action on DREAMers but underscores that Trump voters are animated more by erasing President Obama than by Trump’s claimed policy positions. {insert angry person emoji here}

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