Press Statement

UnidosUS Decries Congress’s Decision to Punt on DREAM

December 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the Republican-controlled Congress ended its session with a stopgap measure that left many critical issues affecting the lives of children and youth unaddressed. At the top of that list is relief for DREAMers, a critical measure made more urgent by the Trump administration’s September decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA provided protection from deportation to nearly 800,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children, and who have gone through background checks to be in the program. It is estimated that more than 13,000 young people have already lost their DACA status because of that decision.

Below is a statement from UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía:

“This week we saw Republicans in Congress rush a vote on one of the most unpopular and atrocious pieces of legislation of the last 30 years—their tax bill—while continuing to block one of the most popular and common-sense measures in their hands—relief for DREAMers. The first will wreak havoc on millions of American middle- and working-class families, while relief for DREAMers—which has the support of nearly 90% of Americans and the votes in Congress to pass—would contribute more than $460 billion to the U.S. economy over the next ten years.

This continued delay is not only economically and politically foolish. It is heartless. Every day Congress fails to act, 122 DREAMers who know only this country as home see their lives threatened. Everyone is clear that this needs to be resolved—in stand-alone legislation or in the course of the budget process. And while timing on that has shifted, it must happen in January. We are seeing nothing short of a war on children—evidenced by the neglect on children’s health care, disaster relief for Puerto Rico, and DREAM. We will continue to work with our network here and in the states to hold Republicans accountable for delivering real solutions. And we expect Democrats to put their political capital on the line, because lives are literally on the line.”

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For almost 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@unidosus.org
(305) 215-4259