Demos Senior Counsel Katherine Culliton-González on Including the DREAM Act and CHIP in the Continuing Budget Resolution

Release Date: 
December 21, 2017

The true source of America’s greatness is the diversity of our people. Almost 1 in 4 Americans is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, and with the upcoming vote on the budget, it’s time for Democrats and Republicans alike to finally pass the DREAM Act. As Congress takes up the spending bill, which may be voted on tonight or tomorrow, Demos urges the leadership of both parties to protect young immigrants whose status is on the line by including a clean DREAM Act in the bill—and to reject the bill if a clean DREAM Act is not included. In addition, the CR must include renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program – failure to renew it will have a discriminatory impact on millions of low-income children of color. Recent election results in Virginia and Alabama show that the new American demos should be important to all politicians. Demos urges officials who have relied on the votes of people of color to be accountable to our demands.

Every day that Congress fails to act, more and more young people are losing immigration status and hope, while families are being torn apart. The Trump administration retracted the protections for 800,000 young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and terminated the long-standing humanitarian programs for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians and Central Americans. The DREAM Act of 2017 (S.1615) would remedy this by granting current DACA and TPS beneficiaries permanent resident status on a conditional basis, with a path to U.S. citizenship after 8 years. It would also stay removal of anyone who meets the DREAM Act requirements, and stop deportations of children over 5 years of age who are enrolled in elementary or secondary school. These are the minimal steps that Congress must take at this juncture in history—and we challenge the Democratic and Republican leadership to stand up for the new American demos by blocking any Continuing Resolution that does not include the DREAM Act.

Throughout our history, the United States has grown and thrived when we have welcomed the skills, talents, and perspectives of immigrants and embraced their potential to contribute to our shared prosperity. Our nation is at its best when every one of us can contribute and when everyone’s basic rights and dignity are respected.

--Demos has joined with Indivisible, United We Dream, and the National Immigration Law Center as well as many other nonprofit, nonpartisan civil and human rights groups in urging Congress to vote for a Continuing Resolution only if it contains the DREAM Act (see Our name means “the people” and we believe that everyone deserves an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.