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Daily Action: Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer Deal (Unless It's the Right One)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000

Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Senator ___________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to urge the senator to hold tight to our American ideals, and refuse to vote for any Republican immigration plan that includes funding for Trump's border wall or restricts the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country. The immorality of Republicans' position is clear to the vast majority of Americans, and even leading Dreamers do not want a deal that severely tightens legal immigration in the name of giving themselves permanent protection. Americans will reward Democrats for upholding our values in the face of Republicans' white nationalism. Thank you!

Senate debate over immigration policy is in its third day, and a pair of competing proposals for protecting Dreamers will have reached the floor by this evening. A bipartisan group of senators has been putting together a bill that would include permanent legal status for about 1.8 million immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, while tightening border security without funding Trump's border wall. It will be offered as an alternative to the Trump-preferred plan introduced by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), which would include $25 billion in funding for the wall as well as deep cuts to legal immigration. Trump wants to impose new limits on family-based immigration, in which naturalized immigrants "sponsor" family members to come into the country, as well as the diversity visa lottery system, which encourages new arrivals from nations with low current immigration levels.

Trump has said he will veto a bill that doesn't include those measures -- which are designed to extend the number of years before non-Hispanic caucasians no longer represent a majority of Americans (or American voters). Currently, the United States is expected to become a "majority-minority" nation by about 2044; analysts say that slowing legal migration might push that date back to 2050 or beyond. Republicans, whose support is almost entirely from white Americans, believe they can stave off the party's inevitable decline by keeping America as white as possible for as long as possible.

However, Republicans yesterday lost some of their leverage over the politics of protecting Dreamers, when a district court judge in New York became the second to rule that Trump did not have a legal right to end President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without proper justification, as he did in September 2017. The judge agreed with a district court in San Francisco, and his decision requires the Trump administration to restart the DACA program, renewing applications for current beneficiaries on a case-by-case basis. Still, he did not require Trump to accept new applicants.

Republicans insist that their draconian proposal represents a "compromise," because it offers permanent protection to more immigrants than have applied for the DACA program, and that Democrats will be seen as betraying immigrants if they don't accept the deal. However, polling shows that while 81 percent of Americans support permanent legal protections for Dreamers, only 17 percent favor cutting legal immigration levels, as the GOP plan would do.

Greisa Martinez Rosas, director of advocacy and policy for United We Dream, rejects the GOP line and insists that the broader immigration debate is just as important as the Dreamers' immediate fate. "If they're going to demand the (White House advisor) Stephen Miller wish list, Democrats should just say no," she said Wednesday. "There's a line for how much we will allow Trump and Miller to extract for our protection."