FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2017
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279
WASHINGTON – Following the U.S. Senate’s approval of a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government running for four more weeks, members of Congress broke for the holidays today without addressing the precarious situation facing hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and their families. Congress failed also to provide adequate relief funding for disaster-impacted areas and to fully reauthorize a vital health insurance program for children.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:
“Today, Congress voted callously to place millions of Americans – and citizens in waiting – in harm’s way. By leaving town, they’re leaving immigrant youth at risk of deportation, children at risk of losing health coverage, and families without the overdue relief they need to overcome recent natural disasters.
“Far too many senators have claimed to stand for the bipartisan Dream Act when it was convenient, and then voted tonight to fund Dreamers’ deportations. Those who call themselves champions for Dreamers but voted against them tonight should feel nothing but shame. While they’re at home celebrating, millions of families will continue in a state of uncertainty, instability, and anxiety, wondering if this may be their last holiday season together.
“It is immoral that some members of Congress refuse to acknowledge the situation of Dreamers for the Trump-fabricated crisis it is. More than 13,000 immigrant youth have lost DACA protections since September, and 3,400 more will become vulnerable to deportation before the next spending bill vote in January. Their lives should weigh heavily on the conscious of every member of Congress.
“This crisis is part of this administration’s continued attempt to implement a white supremacist agenda. But we are also here because some Democrats failed to stand with their brave colleagues to defend their principles and fight for immigrant youth and children needing health care.
“On the heels of the tax heist one thing is clear: We must hold Congress accountable. We must unite and work together for children, families, low-income immigrants, and all of our communities.
“Congress may be leaving town, but we are here to stay. We will be here and ready to put our elected officials back to work in January. We are resolute in our mission to ensure that immigrant youth have a secure future in this country, which is their home, and we will continue to fight alongside immigrant youth and our partners until we win.”