Hispanic Dems make last-minute DACA appeal to Schumer

Hispanic Dems make last-minute DACA appeal to Schumer
© Greg Nash
Hispanic Democrats in the House scrambled Thursday to convince senators to vote against a year-end spending bill that would delay a fix for young immigrants until at least January.
 
A group of 15 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) walked across the Capitol to lobby Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) for support on a fix for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
 
The contingent from the lower chamber, led by CHC Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamBipartisan group to introduce DACA bill in House If America’s political future belongs to women, let Latinas lead the charge   Democrats skeptical of DACA deal framework MORE (D-N.M.), asked Schumer to push Senate Democrats to vote against a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government unless it includes protections for so-called Dreamers, immigrants in the country illegally who came here as children.
 
"What we stressed to the senator was that we need more senators voting with us," said Lujan Grisham.
 
"That means ... that they vote against any of the must-pass legislation, including the CR, and they stand with the House on making clear what our priorities are," she said.
 
The House passed a continuing resolution earlier Thursday that would fund the government until Jan. 19. The Senate is expected to pass the measure Thursday evening, sending it to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE's desk.
 
Trump announced in September that he would rescind the Obama-era DACA program, which gives about 690,000 immigrants work permits and protection from deportation.
 
Lujan Grisham said Schumer did not guarantee that enough Democratic senators would vote against the measure to defeat it, but that the CHC is "growing the support to make sure that the issues that we care about get addressed."
 
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), the head of the CHC's immigration task force who criticized Schumer's leadership on immigration Wednesday, said the meeting was a success.
 
"We came over here to galvanize support for our Dreamers, and we got that," said Gutiérrez. "There are more Democratic senators than there were before the meeting, and I believe it is going to grow till the moment of the vote."
 
"We understand the anxiety of the Hispanic caucus and share their anguish on this issue. We’re going to do everything we can to get the Dream Act done," Schumer in a statement ahead of the vote Thursday night on the stopgap spending bill.
 
The resolution needs 60 votes to pass in the upper chamber, meaning at least eight Democrats or independents have to vote for it to keep the government open past Friday.
 
A handful of Democratic senators have pledged to vote against any spending bill that doesn't include Dreamer protections, but the bill is expected to pass easily.
 
Still, immigration advocates expect more Senate Democrats to stand by them in advance of the Jan. 19 deadline.
 
At least one senior Senate Democrat, Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration MORE (Calif.), announced Thursday she'd withhold her vote from the continuing resolution because of DACA.
 
Gutiérrez said he believed Schumer's assurances, but warned of stiff consequences if the party doesn't lay all its chips on the table for Dreamers in January.
 
"It's going to be a day of reckoning. If that happens, Democrats can't be so self-assured of their victory in 2018 if it goes through the Hispanic community," said Gutiérrez.