United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez issued this statement following the partial shutdown of the federal government:
Jumping from continuing resolution to continuing resolution on the budget is not a solution for anyone from either side of the isle. Congress had the opportunity to get the job done. The fault lies entirely on those backing the anti-immigrant agenda of Donald Trump. There is a bipartisan deal protecting Dreamers on the table. The farm worker movement demands congressional leaders put it up for a vote and that Donald Trump sign it. The Dream Act enjoys both bipartisan public support, and the support of the majority of Members of Congress needed to enact it.
Congress failed to come together in good faith to pass a permanent solution for immigrant youth, causing a government shutdown. Members of Congress refused to vote in favor of permanently protecting the Dreamers, forcing them to remain as prey for deportation. Since Donald Trump set the deadline for rescinding DACA last September, 15, 500 people have already lost their protections.
We urge Republicans to stop blocking the Dream Act. We urge Democrats to use their leverage over voting on the continuing resolution to pass permanent legislation protecting young undocumented immigrants. Delegations of immigrant youth organized by the UFW Foundation traveled cross-country, calling for urgent action and resistance on Capitol Hill and in the offices of 21st District California Rep. David Valadao. Valadao voted on Thursday night to fund a spending bill that would ultimately put DACA recipients at risk of deportation. Despite his wrong decision, we continue to underscore the need for Congress to do the right thing as soon as possible.
According to a new CBS News poll, almost nine in 10 respondents—87 percent—indicated support of legal protections for undocumented youth. Today’s deadline to pass the Dream Act was essential in ensuring immigration authorities have time to properly implement the law. There is no excuse for the failure to include a bipartisan Dream Act in the spending bill. Immigrant youth are now in danger and the urgency is real.