The one-page framework for an immigration bill released by Republicans yesterday shows us that Republicans aren’t serious about finding a solution for DACA recipients or a bipartisan compromise. The Republican proposal is a racist bill written by white supremacists to use Dreamers as bargaining chips to advance a draconian anti-immigrant agenda.
This bill could move fast. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Donald Trump have said they want debate wrapped up on this bill quickly — Cornyn even said by the end of Thursday. This is nothing but an arbitrary deadline meant to end debate as quickly as possible. Trump and his congressional allies know the more we fight for Dreamers, the more the American public (a big majority of them) wants Congress to do the right thing and pass a clean Dream Act.
This bill can move any which way. So we need to remind our members of Congress why they are even debating this issue in the first place — people’s lives are at stake.
Call our Democratic Senators (and keep calling them) at 1-855-980-2355 and tell them: vote no on changes to legal migration and diversity visas.
They need to hear your voices. Over 80% of the American people want Congress to pass a law that puts American Dreamers on a clear path to full citizenship. Tell them that they need to stay strong and not cave on any of the White House’s outrageous demands.
Sample Call Script
Caller: Hi! My name is [name] and I’m calling from [part of state]. I’m calling today to tell Senator [Warren/Markey] that I expect [her / him] to vote no on any immigration legislation that would make changes to legal migration or diversity visas. Protecting Dreamers is crucially important, but we can’t let Trump use them as a bargaining chip for drastic, permanent changes to legal immigration that serve his racist vision of who “deserves” to come to America.
Staffer: Thanks for calling. Senator [Warren/Markey] is waiting to see what proposals come to the floor this week before [she/he] decides how to vote; however, [she/he] is very intent on finding a compromise that will permanently protect Dreamers from deportation.
Caller: It’s important to me that we protect Dreamers, too, but Trump wants to impose a family ban and build his ridiculous border wall in return for those protections. We should not have to pick between some immigrant families and others; [Senator] should hold strong against these Republican efforts to undermine our immigration system in service of Trump’s racist policies.
Staffer: I’ll pass along your thoughts to Senator [Warren/Markey].
Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what [Senator] decides to do.
The key message we need to give Democrats is that it’s okay to walk away. The situation is dire for Dreamers, and we want Congress to provide relief for them. However, immigration rights advocates have been clear that they would rather Democrats walk away than take a bad deal. We agree 100%, there are clear red lines that we should not cross and we will oppose any amendment that crosses them.
Dreamers are putting their bodies and lives on the line to defend their futures, and we must fight alongside them.
Trump’s immigration policy is based on “four pillars” laid out by his administration:
- Building his wall on the Mexican border;
- Ending the diversity visa lottery to prevent black and brown immigrants from coming to America;
- Ending the family reunification policies that have served as the backbone of American immigration for a century; and
- Enacting permanent protections for Dreamers.
Trump wants to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip to enact drastic, permanent changes to legal immigration. His policies would keep families apart, waste billions of dollars in taxpayer money, and serve his racist vision of who “deserves” to come to America.
White supremacists in Congress and the administration are using 800,000 Dreamers as a bargaining chip to advance their racist agenda and gut our entire legal immigration system. This debate will define whether our country will continue being welcoming for immigrants as it has been for centuries, or whether we’ll enact draconian, racist, and cruel immigration measures that nativists in power have pursued for decades.
Here’s what you should know about the Republican proposal:
- White supremacists wrote it: the bill limits “chain migration” (a racist term used by hate groups to describe family-based migration) and family reunification. “Chain migration” is almost exclusively used by Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate groups like Numbers USA and FAIR. This is a family ban intended to prevent immigrants, mostly people of color, from reuniting with siblings, parents, and grandparents. It forces immigrants to choose between life in the United States or seeing their family again.
- The Diversity Visa Program would be wiped out: the Diversity Visa Program, a merit-based system, has been a core of the US’ legal immigration system for decades. The program ensures the US maintains diversity in our immigration system (i.e. it makes sure we don’t privilege immigrants from white countries like Norway in our immigration system).
- More money and resources will go to enforcement: not only will Republican hardliners try to stick Donald Trump’s expensive, pointless border wall in this bill, they’ll also propose expanding Trump’s deportation machine. This will only allow for the expedited removal of immigrants and erode sanctuary policies.