Dems take over Senate floor to protest end of DACA

Democrats are holding the Senate floor into Wednesday night to protest the Trump administration to end a key Obama-era immigration program. 

President Trump sparked ire from Democrats and some Republicans when his administration announced Tuesday it would phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has allowed roughly 800,000 immigrants brought into the country as children to remain legally. 
 
 
"It's a cold political calculation, and those with money and power have used it time and time and time again to keep us fighting with each other, fighting over religion, fighting over race," she said from the Senate floor. "[Trump] is failing in his basic moral duty to protect these people." 
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned Trump's decision will "rip apart families" and likely have "devastating" economic consequences. 
 
"If we don't see a clean DREAM Act in September. We, as the minority here, are prepared to attach it to legislative vehicles in the fall until it passes. These 'Dreamers' are Americans in their hearts. They ought to become Americans in the books of law as well," he said. 
 
Democrats are expected to hold the Senate floor until at least 10 p.m. 
 
Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one Schumer: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin MORE (R.I.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate panel advances Trump IRS nominee Senate Dems protest vote on controversial court pick Who is Andrew Wheeler, EPA's new acting chief? MORE (R.I.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act Full interview: Democratic candidate Kerri Evelyn Harris discusses her Senate campaign in Delaware MORE (Del.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowLobbying world The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Dem senator: Kavanaugh sides with 'wealthiest special interests' MORE (Mich.) have also spoken during the DACA talk-a-thon. 
 
Democrats are demanding that Senate Republicans hold a vote on the DREAM Act this month—a move GOP leadership has dismissed as unlikely.
 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) added lawmakers should stop "playing with their lives." 
 
"This decision to end DACA without first ensuring that young people have legal protection is why we are demanding a vote on the DREAM Act as soon as possible," she said from the Senate floor. 
 
The DREAM Act would allow people brought to the United States illegally as children to continue to live and work freely in the country, similar to DACA.
 
Democrats have previously used Senate floor speeches, paired with social media, to try to build support ahead of legislative fights. Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE MORE (D-Ill.) is hosting a Facebook Live event with Democratic senators, including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump: ‘Dems have a death wish’ Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE MORE (D-Calif.), to overlap with the floor action. 
 
But Democrats would need GOP support to attach the proposal to any bill in the Senate. 
 
Republicans, while saying they are sympathetic to immigrants currently covered by DACA, want to tie any bill to a push to bolster border security. 
 
"I think this does provide Congress an opportunity to address this matter, but I also think it would be a mistake for Congress not to do more to regain the public's confidence when it comes to border security and enforcement of the law," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Senate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Wednesday. 
 
The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on next week on "the Long-term Impact of Immigration: Exploring Reforms to our Nation’s Guest Worker Programs and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and their Potential Impact on the American Economy and Local Communities."