Deadline Looms for Congress to Protect Young Immigrants

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, DC, January 19, 2018—The expiration today at midnight of the temporary federal funding bill marks another critical opportunity for Congress to protect 800,000 young immigrants who call the United States home. Since President Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5, 2017, these young people have lived in perilous limbo, their lives hanging on each pronouncement and each failed deal.

Each day Congress fails to pass a legislative solution to address the crisis that the president created, over 100 immigrant youth lose their DACA status and with it their jobs, economic security, and protection from deportation. Also harmed are the 200,000 U.S. citizen children of DACA recipients as well as the communities, businesses, and schools that depend on the contributions of immigrant youth.

In addition, the proposed temporary funding bill falls short in adequately addressing a range of critical programs that millions of low-income people depend on, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This vital program that provides health coverage for 9 million children and pregnant women across the country should have been reauthorized by the congressional leadership more than three months ago when it expired and not held hostage for political purposes.

President Trump has made it clear by his words and actions since the start of his administration that he intends to pursue an aggressive agenda that terrorizes immigrant families and communities of color. CLASP stands with immigrant youth and their families in opposition to this misguided and reckless agenda and urges members of Congress to uphold our American values and oppose any government funding bill that does not include immediate protections and a path to citizenship for Dreamers. It’s simply the right thing to do.