Right after close to 30 Senate Democrats voted with Republicans on Monday to put an end to the government shutdown, Illinois Democrat Rep. Luis Gutiérrez issued the following statement:
This simply kicks the can down the road with no assurance that we will protect Dreamers from deportation or fight Republican attempts to curtail or eliminate legal immigration. I have said since September —when Trump killed DACA— that I will not vote for a long-term or short-term spending bill that fails to protect the Dreamers. We will not fund their deportation and we will not exchange their safety for the deportation of others or for the prohibition of others to enter legally.
Democrats believe in immigration and it is deeply engrained in who we are as a people. Every American family has been shaped by immigrants who were allowed to live among us legally —even the Trumps— so let’s make sure our laws reflect that.
I do not see how a vague promise from the Senate Majority Leader about a vague policy to be voted on in the future helps the Dreamers or maximizes leverage the Democrats and American people have over the Republicans right now. If the Republicans said we are ending same-sex marriage, but we promise Democrats a vote later; or we approve of oil drilling in every national park, but you’ll have a vote later—do you think the Democrats would say yes? This shows me that when it comes to immigrants, Latinos and their families, Democrats are still not willing to go to the mat to allow people in my community to live in our country legally.