Now that the Senate voted down four immigration bills on Thursday (yes, the bipartisan ones and the Trump ones), Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream, said the following:
Last night, a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senators Rounds & King, agreed on a proposal to provide citizenship to millions immigrant youth but which would have also led to mass deportation and attacks on our parents that Trump called for.
While immigrant youth leaders have fought tirelessly to ensure that broad protections for immigrant youth like this are passed into law, as an organization of young people in families and communities we love, we obviously cannot support it.
Neither can we support the flagrantly anti-immigrant plans expected today from Senators Grassley and Toomey. The only amendment being voted on today which we could consider supporting is the bipartisan McCain/Coons amendment.
Last night and today, Trump once again showed the world that his goal is mass deportation, not compromise.
Even though the Rounds/King amendment included increases in deportations, attacks on our parents and $25 billion in funding for his beloved Border Patrol, it wasn’t enough for the global leader in white supremacy.
Trump is the man who put immigrant youth in danger in the first place and now the cruel hostage taker, is demanding even more tears, more deportations, more broken families and more money before he will free immigrant youth from his agents.
United We Dream calls on all people with institutional power at the federal, state and local levels to stop playing by Trump’s rules and take principled action now to protect immigrants and people of color from the Trump government.
Immigrant youth are putting our bodies on the line day after day to defend our families and our democracy and we will not stop fighting until both are safe.
This nation is at a crossroads and no number of speeches, tweets or symbolic votes will protect us. At the federal level, we have been calling for the Dream Act because it would protect immigrant youth without hurting our parents. Of the proposals being voted on today, the McCain/Coons amendment gets us closest to that standard but we understand that the fight is far from over.
We call on all Members of Congress and all people of conscience to work through Trump’s stubbornness to deliver a breakthrough.