Washington, DC – Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) issued the following statement criticizing the Republican majority for their government shutdown and for failing to take action on the Dream Act (which she has authored in the House):
“Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House, but they couldn’t accomplish something as basic as keeping the government open. As a result, America is now enduring the Trump Shutdown. Republican leaders have not only endangered our economy and hurt our communities, they have also left our nation’s Dreamers, their families, and their communities in a state of fear and uncertainty by failing to act on the Dream Act.
“President Trump himself created this crisis for the millions of Dreamers living in this country by repealing DACA, yet he and congressional Republicans refuse to negotiate in good faith on a permanent solution.
“Dreamers are students and professionals, including doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, and social workers. They are members of our military, critical to the mission of national security. And they are parents who play a vital role in the wellbeing and future of our American society.
“Dreamers are American in every way but their citizenship, and due to the President’s actions, over 16,000 of them have lost their DACA protections, an average of 122 per day. Tens of thousands more Dreamers will eventually lose their jobs and their protection against deportation if we do not take action.
“Experts, studies, and former administration officials have all affirmed that Dreamers strengthen our economy, protect our country and enhance the quality of life in our communities and across our nation. But Dreamers are losing their jobs, making it harder to provide for their families, and they are cutting their studies short, dashing their career aspirations. Many are so consumed with fear of losing their parents that they are exhibiting signs of PTSD and depression, so schoolteachers in my district tell me.
“While a court has forced the administration to again accept DACA renewals, its ruling does nothing for new applicants and it could be overturned by a higher court at any time.
“As the author of the Dream Act in the House, I believe we must act NOW to resolve this issue. It is inhumane to force Dreamers to wait until the last minute for a solution, as Republicans have done so often while running Congress. We cannot force them back into America’s shadows. We must pass the Dream Act NOW.
“Furthermore, we need the Republicans who control the House and the Senate to demonstrate leadership, end the Trump Shutdown, and find common ground to meet the needs of the American people. Democrats will continue to do our jobs and push for real action for Dreamers, veterans, children, workers, seniors, communities ravaged by opioids, and families worried about how the Trump Shutdown impacts them.”
Top photo of U.S. Capitol by Bill Hughes