"This bill does not address the great moral issue of our time—the fact that in three weeks 800,000 young Dreamers will lose their legal status and be subject to deportation."
With hundreds of Dreamers losing legal protections each day and thousands more set to be vulnerable to deportation in just over three weeks, Democrats and Republicans joined hands on Friday to ram through a two-year budget measure that lifted spending caps, dumped more funds into the Pentagon's overflowing coffers, and left nearly a million young immigrants in "unacceptable limbo."
"Congress moved on, Democrats threw Dreamers under the bus again, and Republicans chose their racist leader in the White House," Erika Andiola, an undocumented immigrant and rights activist, wrote on Friday following the dead-of-night vote. "Dreamers are already being deported, and still no DREAM Act passed. Nothing new. So tired of this."
In a statement released just ahead of Friday's vote, the National Immigrant Law Center (NILC) denounced lawmakers' refusal to attach a clean DACA fix to must-pass spending legislation as "another failure to deliver on their word" and "a choice to be complicit in the detention and deportation of Dreamers."
"Speeches, photo ops, and gestures won't cut it," NILC concluded. "We urgently need a narrowly-tailored solution that addresses the crisis Trump created, without putting families at risk or reducing people's lives to a bargaining chip. We need the bipartisan Dream Act now."
While the spending measure stalled briefly in the Senate when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) decided to complain about its deficit impact, overall the bill earned strong support from both parties. In total, 36 Democrats in the Senate and 73 in the House joined the Republican majority in voting for the so-called Bipartisan Budget Act.
"In the middle of the night, when they didn't have to look them in the face, Congress failed Dreamers," wrote MoveOn.org's Washington director Ben Wikler on Friday. "Dems just folded on holding out for a Dream commitment. Shame."