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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 ReedJack ReedTop Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up MORE (R.I.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDurbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee GOP breaks with Trump firing of cyber chief: Adds to 'confusion and chaos' MORE (R.I.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' | GM reverses on Trump, exits suit challenging California's tougher emissions standards | United Nations agency says greenhouse gas emissions accumulating despite lockdown decline GSA transition delay 'poses serious risk' to Native Americans, Udall says OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (Del.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Bottom line Peters fends off challenge in Michigan Senate race 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.
 
 
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 CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results 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."