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83 Democrats Demand Dream Act Be Added to Omnibus & That Funding for Deportations, Detention and Walls Be Stripped

On Wednesday, 83 House Democrats, including Representative Danny K. Davis released a letter they signed to House Leadership in both parties and to Appropriators calling for the Dream Act to be attached to the Omnibus spending bill the House will vote on this week or next.  The lawmakers also asked that the government funding bill be free from increased spending on immigrant deportation and detention and free from further border militarization. The full letter (pdf) can be found here.

The letter states:

Congress is long overdue in acting on this issue, and the failure to pass the Dream Act has resulted in countless lives put in peril.  Meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tears families apart by targeting Dreamers, long-term residents, asylum-seekers, families and children for detention and deportation.

It goes on to enumerate the demands of the group of Members:

As the negotiations for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill are ongoing, we urge you to:

(1) include the bipartisan Dream Act;

(2) reduce funding appropriated to DHS’s detention and deportation machine, specifically funding for detention beds, deportation agents operating under Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and border militarization; and

(3) oppose any funding that expands the construction of walls or fencing at the southern border, and to instead allocate border security resources to modernize the infrastructure and technology at our ports of entry.

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez led the effort along with his colleagues Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY).  A press conference to release the letter was held today with Members and advocates.  The press conference was webcasted via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/RepGutierrez/videos/10156229061633205/ Reps. Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Judy Chu (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Raul Grijalva, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Adriano Espaillat, Norma Torres (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Grace Napolitano (D-CA) also spoke at the press conference along with representatives of Church World Service, Detention Watch Network, United We Dream, and UnidosUS.

The letter from the Members of Congress concludes:

As Congressional leaders, we must exercise our powers responsibly to protect the Dreamers through legislative action and to wield our power of the purse to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security does not make immigrant families and communities casualties of a reckless, indiscriminate detention and deportation machine.

The letter was signed by:  Luis V. Gutiérrez, Adriano Espaillat, Raúl M. Grijalva, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Judy Chu, Joe Crowley, Gene Green, Dina Titus, Paul D. Tonko, Eliot L. Engel, Ted Deutch, Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, José E. Serrano, Alcee L. Hastings, Al Green, Albio Sires, Linda T. Sánchez, Carolyn B. Maloney, Lloyd Doggett, Peter Welch, Nydia M. Velázquez, Barbara Lee, Adam Smith, Keith Ellison, Gwen Moore, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Ben Ray Luján, Maxine Waters, Bobby L. Rush, Elijah Cummings, Danny K. Davis, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Yvette D. Clarke, Robert A. Brady, Jared Polis, Norma J. Torres, Grace F. Napolitano, Hakeem Jeffries, Juan Vargas, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Donald Norcross, Tony Cárdenas, Kathleen M. Rice, Mark Takano, Darren Soto, Mark Pocan, Michael E. Capuano, Ed Perlmutter, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Grace Meng, Robin L. Kelly, Jimmy Gomez, Bill Foster, Joaquin Castro, Ruben Gallego, Brenda L. Lawrence, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Brendan F. Boyle, Donald S. Beyer Jr.”, Earl Blumenauer, Dwight Evans, J. Luis Correa, Ro Khanna, Suzanne Bonamici, James P. McGovern, Joseph P. Kennedy, III, Jamie Raskin, Colleen Hanabusa, Jacky Rosen, John Lewis, Pramila Jayapal, Val Butler Demings, Frank Pallone, Jr., Ted W. Lieu, Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., Salud O. Carbajal, Donald M. Payne, Jr., John Yarmuth, Alan Lowenthal, Mark DeSaulnier.

 

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