Congress must come to a decision on the debt ceiling and the national budget by the end of the year, but according to one lawmaker, the priority has to be the “Dreamers.”
“A clean version of the Dream Act,” Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat representing NY’s thirteenth district, said on Monday. One that’s “not attached to hiring an additional 15,000 ICE agents to deport the parents of the Dreamers.”
The issue hits close to home for Espaillat. About 800,000 “Dreamers”, undocumented immigrants that travelled to the U.S. when they were children, live in his district, he said.
But their future in the U.S. is now at risk, since President Trump announced plans earlier this year to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The legislation put in place by the Obama administration was meant to give these immigrants amnesty. The rollback has met with criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Espaillat’s issues with Trump go deeper than just immigration though. The Dominican-born congressman is one of six Democrats currently calling Donald Trump to be impeached.
Lead by Rep. Steve Cohen, signees Al Green (D-TX), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Espaillat, presented the five articles of impeachment last week. They argue that Trump has obstructed justice, violated the Constitution’s foreign and domestic emoluments clauses and the freedom of the press, and undermined the federal judiciary.
“We have taken this action because of great concern for our country, our Constitution, our national security, and our democracy,” Cohen said at a press conference.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has discouraged action as severe as impeachment, but Espaillat argues that every person in office has the responsibility to take action in a case like this.
“We should not abdicate our responsibility as congressional members,” he said.
Private citizens are also taking up the cause. Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, a major donor to the Democratic party, is funding a campaign calling for action against Trump and has reportedly spent $20 million on ads.
“It’s up to all of us to stand up to this president,” one ad says.
According to the website, more than 2.5 million people have already signed a petition for impeachment.