SIREN Condemns Senate’s Failure to Find Solution for DREAMers and Racist Amendments to Senate Immigration Bill

Media Contact: Erik Schnabel, Development and Communications Manager
Phone Number: (408) 453-3003

This week, the Senate began the long anticipated debate on a bill to provide a solution for DREAMers which has been urgently needed since Trump ended the DACA program months ago. In reality, the stage for this bill began during the presidential campaign where Trump propelled to his eventual victory on racist anti-immigrant rhetoric and propaganda. 

The debate that began in the Senate this week was a natural result of this destructive campaign to demonize immigrants and people of color. Senators on both sides of the aisle caved into Trump’s agenda by introducing damaging amendments that continued the racist pandering  rather than focusing on a narrow solution for DREAMers. In the end, the Senate could not reach 60 votes on any amendments. 

SIREN has been weighing in with our California Senators throughout this debate, given that Senators Feinstein and Harris may have been convinced to vote for the worst amendments. We commend our California Senators for standing firm against harmful amendments that would have punished “sanctuary” jurisdictions and codified Trump’s immigration proposal to severely curtail family immigration, end the diversity visa program, and create a border wall. Yet, we are strongly disappointed that Senator Feinstein voted in favor of the Rounds-King amendment, the Immigration and Security Opportunity Act, which would have prevented the parents of DREAMers from being sponsored by their DREAMer children for a green card if they were involved in bringing their children to the US, eliminated the ability of green card holders to sponsor their unmarried adult children, placed an age cap on individuals being eligible for DREAM, appropriated $25 billion for a border wall, and codified Trump’s enforcement priorities to take away prosecutorial discretion.    

SIREN’s Executive Director Maricela Gutiérrez stated, “SIREN strongly condemns the introduction of the racist, anti-immigrant amendments and the Senate’s failure today to move forward with a narrow legislative solution for DREAMers. We are glad that enough Senators voted against the worst amendments but are saddened to see them unable to move forward with vote on a bill that focuses solely on DREAM and would enjoy bipartisan support. But this proves once again that the Senate needs to stop trying to package unacceptable amendments that many voters are opposed to and to instead urgently focus on a narrow solution for DREAMers. They should be making their decisions based on striving for justice and equality with a clean DREAM Act as their guiding light, not on demonization and lies set up by Trump. We will continue this fight and it is not yet over.. ”

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