CHC Chair Lujan Grisham Offers Amendment to Protect Dreamers
Jun 21, 2018
Washington, D.C. – Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the following remarks in opposition to the anti-immigrant Goodlatte bill, H.R. 4760, “Securing America’s Future Act,” as part of a Motion to Recommit (MTR).
If adopted, the Democratic MTR would provide a permanent legislative fix for Dreamers by replacing the hyper-partisan Goodlatte bill with the strongly bipartisan Dream Act. If brought to the floor, the DREAM Act would swiftly pass on a bipartisan basis. The amendment was not adopted on a party-line vote.
Click here to watch a video of her remarks.
“This is the final amendment to the bill which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. If adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended.
“When DACA was terminated in September, this Chamber promised hundreds of thousands of young people and the American public that we would have a public debate and vote to protect Dreamers.
“We gather here today instead, to vote on legislation that fails to protect these young people, radically changes our immigration laws, and derails the bipartisan queen of the hill effort that would give us a solution.
“H.R. 4760 is a hyper-partisan, sweeping bill would fundamentally change our legal immigration system and negatively impact our economy, which is why it’s opposed by the majority of the Republican Conference, faith groups, businesses, chambers, and everyone in between.
“If enacted, these policies would undermine local law enforcement, hurt businesses and rip apart communities through mass deportation, while telling hundreds of thousands of American Dreamers that they can only be a guest in the only country most of them have ever known - but that they will NEVER truly be American.
“The truth is, this bill is a poison-pill ridden effort that does nothing to get us closer to passing a bipartisan, narrow, targeted solution for Dreamers.
“Congress – that’s each and every one of us - has a responsibility to address this Trump-created crisis in a bipartisan, rapid, compassionate, and meaningful way.
“This is what the American people want us to do ---
“But since the start of the Trump Administration, a divisive and twisted narrative has been perpetuated to villainize, scapegoat, and hurt immigrant families.
“This week, the pain of immigrant families was felt by each and every person in America that heard the terror and cries of children being torn from their parents.
“This week we’ve experienced the horror many immigrant families feel every day.
“And we’ve seen how ugly it is to use vulnerable immigrant children, mothers, and father as political pawns.
“But we’ve also seen Americans stand up for these families.
“We saw them rebuke the President and his heinous policy.
“Today, we must do the same thing by standing up for Dreamers.
“We must meet our responsibility, as Members of Congress by voting for legislation that fixes this Trump-created DACA crisis – not by voting for legislation that makes it worse.
“Every time that a bipartisan fix for Dreamers is within reach, this chaotic Republican conference caves to those who aim to exploit Dreamers in order to impose radical changes to our immigration system.
“The provisions in HR 4760’s partisan anti-immigrant bill betray our most fundamental American values.
“It is a reflection of the xenophobic agenda of the Trump White House, which prioritizes billions upon billions on a wasteful wall, cuts legal immigration and ends our obligation to protect Dreamers.
“This is the latest example of Republicans putting Trump’s anti-immigrant demands above moral decency, families, Dreamers, and the will of the American people.
“It is indefensible and immoral that this House continues to derail bipartisan efforts to protect Dreamers.
“The antics we are witnessing are why the American people have lost faith that their Representatives can find bipartisan solutions to our nation’s most pressing issues.
“But as a Member of Congress in the minority party - at a time of deep political division and instability, I still believe it is still possible for us to work together to improve the well-being of families, children, and young people.
“That is why I’m asking you to join me in voting for the bipartisan Dream Act that upholds our values and fulfills our promise to protect Dreamers and their families.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.