Here is what Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) said Wednesday morning of the House of Represenatives:
Every day that Congress does not pass the DREAM Act, 122 DACA recipients lose their protection from deportation.
That’s 122 every day—young people who arrived in the U.S. as children, have gone through multiple background checks and have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 years.
Every week that passes nearly 1,000 DACA recipients lose their protection from deportation.
By Christmas, the number of DACA recipients who will have lost protection will reach 13,492.
But now we are hearing that we may have a short-term CR or a series of CRs and that the whole budget and funding debate might get kicked down the road to next year, when all 800,000 young immigrants who signed up for DACA will begin losing their status on a rolling basis.
Mr. Speaker, with Republicans in control of the House, Senate and White House, I am pretty sure you will not need my vote to pass these must-pass bills to secure the integrity of the nation.
So I will vote against any short-term CR because I assume you have the votes to govern as you see fit, no matter how much I and other Democrats disagree with your priorities on women, on children’s health insurance, the environment, or the DREAMers.
Now, if Republicans decide they do need help from Democrats to carry out the most basic functions of government, they know where to find us… and we are more than willing to help, if what we are voting on meets minimal standards of the priorities of the American people.
For me and a lot of my colleagues, that means a vote on the DREAM Act right now, this year.
The votes are here, the legislation is here, the American people are already in support, so Mr. Speaker, at some point, Republican leadership should just get out of the way and let America vote.
That is what leadership, compromise, and bipartisanship look like.
Now, we certainly know what it doesn’t look like.
In the middle of the night last weekend, Republicans voted to give a tax cut to the richest Americans. They dressed it up as a tax cut for everyone, but we all know this is an obscene tax cut for the obscenely wealthy.
Not a single Democrat in either House supported it and this chart explains part of the reason why. It is tremendously unpopular with the American people as the small slice in red on this chart shows us.
According to Gallup yesterday, just 29% of Americans support the Republican tax cut for billionaires and multinational companies.
That is what partisanship looks like.
So what does bipartisanship look like? It looks like the DREAM Act.
Overall, 86% of Americans support the DREAM Act, a bill to legalize the immigration status of immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. 86%!!! That’s the big slice of red on the chart.
And that number comes from a Fox News poll, just in case you think I was using a partisan poll where they put their thumb on the scale to show things in my favor.
And 63% of Trump voters back citizenship for DREAMers.
So here is a proposal supported by an overwhelming number of people; an overwhelming number of Republicans; and an overwhelming percentage of people who voted for Donald Trump and we cannot get a vote.
Yesterday, 34 Republicans in this body wrote to the Speaker asking him to please allow a vote on something to protect DREAMers and those with DACA. Clearly all 34 know how to read this chart.
They want to do something that is both politically popular and the right thing to do from a moral standpoint.
The reason Republican leaders will not allow a vote on the DREAM Act —or at least are acting like they won’t— is because they know it will pass.
You take the 34 Republicans that wrote the Speaker and add them to 194 of my Democrats and you are comfortably in the majority and the DREAM Act passes.
And for all of those Republicans who oppose the DREAM Act, they get a Christmas present! They get to vote against it. What better way to associate yourself with the comments of your President, on Mexicans, on Muslims on everything else, than to vote against the DREAM Act?
So Mr. Speaker, I urge you to let your members vote against the DREAM Act as an act of charity in the Christmas spirit.
Republicans will get what most of them want: an opportunity to send a message to their base voters by voting on something the rest of us agree on —just like the tax bill— but this time, with passage of the DREAM Act, at least the majority of the American people will get something out of it too.