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House Dem: We’ll shut down the government if House doesn’t pass Dream Act

Greg Nash

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) threatened on Friday to back a government shutdown if the House failed to pass the Dream Act to protect thousands of young immigrants from being deported. 

“We have a Democratic caucus where I know the vast majority of the members of the Democratic caucus are ready to say ‘If there is no pathway forward, not only for the 800,000 and for visas for all of you, but also for the rest of immigrant youth through the Dream Act, then there is no government for anyone,'” Gutierrez said at a press conference. 

{mosads}Gutierrez’s comments come after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would be ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with a six-month delay, sparking outrage among Democrats and civil rights groups. 

President Trump on Friday signed a bipartisan spending package that would provide disaster aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey, while raising the debt ceiling and funding the government for three more months. 

Gutierrez is hoping to pass an immigration bill by December, as the stop-gap measure is set to run out in December. 

“The coming Christmas has to be a Christmas of joy for all of us or none of us,” he said. 

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told Mic that the “vast majority of the progressive caucus” and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were backing Gutierrez’s approach. 

There is also an effort in the Senate to push Congress to create protections for young undocumented immigrants by the end of September. 

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have introduced a measure that would offer legal status to individuals who received protections under DACA. 

Tags Dick Durbin Jeff Sessions Lindsey Graham Luis Gutierrez

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