STATEMENT: Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration Must Stop Playing Political Games with the Lives of Immigrant Youth, Says CAP Action’s Tom Jawetz

Washington, D.C. — Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, released the following statement today regarding the Senate’s failure to reach consensus on a path forward for Dreamers.

We are deeply disappointed at the Senate’s failure to pass protections for Dreamers today. While Senate Democrats used their amendment slots to offer bipartisan proposals, including one that contained extremely painful concessions for border communities and immigrant families throughout the country, Republican leadership offered purely political amendments, including one on sanctuary policies which had nothing to do with protecting Dreamers at all. The president’s own proposal, a nativist wishlist that would have reshaped the racial composition of our immigration system and disproportionately harmed immigrant women, failed to even get 40 votes in the Senate—the one bright spot in the day—even as two bipartisan Dreamer bills received a majority of support but fell short of 60 because of insufficient support by Republicans.

President Donald Trump has stated repeatedly that he cares for Dreamers and families, but the immigration framework he presented goes against the values of family unity that have been at the core of American immigration policy for more than a century. It is time for House Republicans to show leadership and demand a path forward, a path that does not involve President Trump’s radical and prejudiced ideas of what America should be. And though Leader Mitch McConnell now says he has “kept his promise” to Dreamers, nothing can be farther from the truth. Until both he and Speaker Paul Ryan pass legislation to protect Dreamers, their work—and our work—will not be finished.

This is, and should remain, a debate about Dreamers. Nearly every American supports finding a solution for Dreamers. This debate would be simple if Congress and the president were negotiating in good faith. We will keep fighting for a real solution on behalf of immigrant youth and their families, who each day make America great.

CAPAF experts are available for comment. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Elena Gaona,, or 202-478-6322.