Senator Bernie Sanders defends the ‘Dreamers’

January 10, 2018

Americans (yes, including Republicans!) are overwhelmingly—by an 81% to 15% margin—backing efforts to keep “Dreamers” in the United States, based on results of a Marist poll released last month.

And it’s not just the U.S. electorate: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) showed his stripes on television last weekend.

The Dreamers continue to gain backing: The poll finds that citizenship for the Dreamers is the most popular option chosen by respondents in each of the three major parties:

  • Democrats at 92% (74% citizenship, 18% legal status, 5% deportation);
  • Independents at 82% (57% citizenship, 25% legal status, 14% deportation); and
  • Republicans at 67% (40% citizenship, 27% legal status; 29% deportation).

However, President Donald Trump still is refusing to relent on his intention to deport the roughly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants—most of them, Mexican by birth and between the ages of 15 and 30 —who are continuing their education in the United States.

That is, unless he gets the wall he believes will halt illegal entry into America from Latin America.

On December 29, Trump tweeted: “The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!”

During budget negotiations, Trump demanded $18 billion to construct more than 700 miles of barriers along the border with Mexico. In a planning meeting with aides at Camp David last weekend, the POTUS commented, ““The wall is going to happen or we’re not going to have DACA.”

 Senator Bernie Sanders fought back on behalf of the Dreamers. “I am not sure why President Trump wants to shut down the government over a multi-billion dollar wall that no one wants, is not needed and will not be paid for by Mexico. What the American people do want, in overwhelming numbers, is to provide legal protection to 800,000 Dreamers and a path toward citizenship for them.”

In a statement distributed by his office on January 7, Sanders has called on Congress “to immediately fix the crisis the president precipitated when he ended protections for Dreamers in September.”

Sanders told George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week, aired on the same date, “We are in a position where some 800,000 young people – young people who were raised in this country, young people who are in school, who are working in the U.S. military, now are living in extraordinary anxiety about whether or not they’re going to lose legal status and be subject to deportation. This is what the president precipitated. We have got to deal with that decision.”

Sanders called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act immediately and eventually to move to comprehensive immigration reform.

Research contact: Josh_Miller-Lewis@sanders.senate.gov

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