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For Immediate Release
December 14, 2017

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Advocates, Progressive Groups Call on Democratic Leadership:

Pass a Clean Dream Act By End of Year

 

Washington, D.C. — On a press call this morning, progressive leaders called on Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer to pass a clean Dream Act by the end of the year. The organizations have penned a joint letter to Democratic leadership demanding a permanent legislative solution to protect immigrant youth and create a pathway to citizenship by December 22.

The letter reads, in part:

The undersigned organizations stand with immigrant youth who have put their lives on the line, contribute to our economy and add to the diverse fabric of our society. As you go into negotiations with your counterparts in Congress and the White House, we call on you to stay true to your commitment that passage of a clean Dream Act is a priority and ensure it be included in the must-pass spending bill that Congress needs to approve by December 22.

We want to make clear that votes on any spending bill that moves forward without a clean Dream Act are votes to deport Dreamers and rip communities apart already tarnished by heightened violence, discrimination and criminalization with an Administration that has continued to champion a racist, white supremacist, xenophobic and Islamophobic agenda.

The full letter can be found here: https://credoaction.com/news-press/progressive-letter-to-democratic-leadership-on-a-clean-dream-act-by-end-of-year/

Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder, United We Dream, said, “Immigrant youth and the country can’t wait any longer – Congress must deliver the Dream Act in the next few days and Democrats must use all of their leverage to get this done. Our lives are in danger now – there is no more room for delays. A young man named Osman is suffering in a detention camp right now because of a clerical error and just weeks ago, a 10 year old girl was dragged to a detention camp by deportation agents. They would be safe with the Dream Act and we call on Democratic leaders to keep their word to pass it. A vote for the year-end spending bill without the Dream Act is a vote to deport immigrant youth like my little brother. If Democrats don’t hold to their commitment, the pain and suffering of our people will be on their hands.”

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director at CREDO said, “The year-end spending bill is Democrats’ opportunity to put their words into action and take a strong stand on behalf of Dreamers and immigrant communities. Leaders Schumer and Pelosi must use their leverage to ensure that any spending bill that extends beyond the end of the year includes a clean Dream Act. A vote for a spending bill without a clean Dream Act would be a vote to deport dreamers and a massive failure on the part of Democratic leadership.”

Angel Padilla, Policy Director at Indivisible, said, “For three months, Democrats have said they would use their end-of-year leverage on the spending bill to get the DREAM Act passed. They had an opportunity to do it on Dec. 8, and chose not to. On Dec. 22, Democrats will have another opportunity to stand with Dreamers. We expect them to deliver.”

Ben Wikler, Washington Director at MoveOn.org, said, “If Congress goes home for Christmas but leaves Dreamers out in the cold, the grassroots uprising will be scorching enough to boil snow. Every Republican and every Democrat should be on notice: Your Dreamer deadline is in December, and there will be no extensions.”

Monique Teal, Campaign Director at Daily Kos, said, “Since the Trump administration rescinded DACA on September 5, the Daily Kos community has work alongside United We Dream, CREDO and a wide coalition to reclaim protections for immigrant youth. Our members have taken more than 300,000 actions–including 52,000 calls to House and Senate members and mobilizations across the country–to demand a bill that doesn’t trade protections for immigrant youth at the expense of their families and communities. With 122 DACA recipients losing their protections every single day, there is no time to waste with lives on the line. We demand a clean Dream Act before Congress adjourns for the year and look forward to supporting champions of the bill in the 2018 elections and beyond.”

Thanu Yakupitiyage, U.S. Communications Manager at 350.org said, “Immigration is a cross-movement issue and we in the climate movement stand with our progressive partners in calling for a Clean Dream Act now. DREAMers are Americans – they have contributed to this country and made it a better place. As climate impacts including hurricanes, wildfires, and floods devastated parts of the United States this past year, DREAMers are among the many people who stood up to protect their neighbors and support relief efforts. With a vote pending on the end of year spending bill, this is the time for Democrats to do what they said they would, push through the DREAM Act. There is no room for half measures.”

Kelley Robinson, National Organizing Director at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, “This decision to pass a Clean Dream Act will affect the lives of thousands of immigrant youth who know no other country as their home. We know increased immigration enforcement has heightened fear in communities that keep many from seeking the life-saving care they need. No one’s health should be compromised because of their immigration status. We will not silently stand by as immigrant youth including DACA recipients, many of whom are part of the Planned Parenthood community and rely on Planned Parenthood for health care, are stripped of their rights and protections. That’s why Planned Parenthood is calling on Congress to pass the Clean DREAM Act now to ensure immigrant youth in this country are able to live a life free from discrimination and the fear of deportation, and have access to health care they need.”

Neil Sroka, Communications Director at Democracy for America, said, “Given Donald Trump’s well-documented history of lying and Republican leaders’ manifest inability to control their caucus, it’s wholly unacceptable and politically stupid for Democratic congressional leaders to sign on to clean budget vote in exchange for a vague promise to protect DREAMers at some point in the future. Heading into 2018, Democrats need to make it crystal clear that our party is steadfastly committed to standing up to the communities under attack by Donald Trump’s bigoted fringe-right agenda, and we cannot do that if our leaders in Congress aren’t willing to stand up and fight for a core progressive issue like DREAMer protection at the precise moment they have the power to deliver on it. With Republicans desperate to pass a budget before the end of the year, Democratic leaders need to put up and fight for DREAMers or get out of the way.”

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