Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLouisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in McConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill MORE (N.Y.) said on Wednesday that if Republicans do not bring to the floor a bill to protect an estimated 800,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children from deportation, Democrats will try to attach it to any must-pass legislation that moves this fall.
“If a clean DREAM Act does not come to the floor in September, we are prepared to attach it to other items this fall until it passes,” Schumer announced at a press conference with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other colleagues.
Democrats made the threat after President Trump announced he would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which former President Obama implemented in 2012.
Trump gave Congress six months to pass legislation to address the future status of these immigrants.
Schumer on Wednesday blasted Trump’s decision as a mistake.
“The president’s decision to end DACA was heartless and it was brainless,” Schumer said at the news conference in the Rayburn Room on the House side of the Capitol.
“If this order stands, hundreds, hundreds of thousands of families will be ripped apart, tens of thousands of American businesses will lose hard-working employees,” Schumer said.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, commonly known as the DREAM Act, has languished in Congress for 16 years. It would grant permanent legal status to young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as long as they meet certain requirements. It was included in a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 but later stalled in the House.
Democrats will have multiple opportunities to tack the bill onto must-pass legislation.
Congress has to pass bills to keep the government funded and to raise the debt limit before Oct. 1.
Lawmakers will also have to pass a year-end omnibus spending package to fund federal departments and agencies in 2018.