Where are Tim Kaine and Mark Warner when it comes to Defending DREAMers?
By: CASA in Action, NAKASEC, and UndocuBlack
January 10, 2018
Every day that Congress does not take action on the DREAM Act, 122 young people lose their DACA status. What does this mean? In Virginia, this means the loss of jobs, drivers licenses and in-state tuition. This mean being at risk of deportation.
In December, our organizations led weeks of actions on Senators Kaine and Warner because they refused to commit to vote for undocumented youth. Our skepticism was well placed. At the close of Congress, the vast majority of the Senate Democratic Caucus refused to support the budget continuing resolution because it did not include a clean DREAM Act. Kaine and Warner were not among those Senators.
The immigration crisis impacts diverse communities across the country. Nationwide, there are 1.7 million undocumented Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and 130,000 are DACA eligible. TPS, a form of temporary asylum that the Trump administration has steadily cancelled, impacts immigrants from countries as diverse as Haiti, Nepal, Somalia, and El Salvador. Polling conducted on likely Virginia voters this year revealed that broad swathes of Virginia voters - African American, white, Latino, and Asian, likely Democratic and Republican voters, from across the state - support DREAMers.
Some argue that we should be going after Republicans, not friends like Senators Kaine and Warner. It goes without saying that we have been going after Republicans. But frankly, can you really call Senator Warner, who has yet to cosponsor legislation that would protect people with TPS, a friend?
Or how about when he boosted through facebook a speech he gave on the Senate floor supporting undocumented youth, then failed to vote for them when it mattered? And, perhaps most galling, can you really call a friend a Senator who blames his inaction on one of the very communities that specifically needs his leadership as Kaine did in this Washington Post article?
32 Senators, including 29 Democrats, withheld their vote on a funding bill on December 22 because it did not include the DREAM Act. This is the action Senators Kaine and Warner need to take so that immigrant communities in Virginia and the more than 326,000 Virginians who live with at least one undocumented family member know that you are fighting for us.
Senators Kaine and Warner – do not fail us again.