FEB. 3, 2018

Why I Voted Against Destructive CR That Lays Path to Another Shutdown, Puts Politics Over People

By Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Today I voted against Congress’s 4th short-term spending bill in 5 months that fails to include a year-long budget for our military and government agencies, funding for community health centers, and a permanent fix for our country’s DREAMers. The vote to reopen the government passed the Senate earlier today with a vote of 81-18, passed the House by 266-150, and will now go to President Trump for his signature.

I have consistently opposed destructive Continuing Resolutions that fund the government for a few weeks at a time, holding the American economy hostage, damaging military readiness, and creating uncertainty that bars any long-term planning around federal funding.

The only thing more irresponsible than this reckless government shutdown is another shutdown in three weeks—which is exactly where we are headed with today’s temporary funding bill. This bill was founded on empty promises and a record of failure to solve the problems that led to the shutdown in the first place. It prolongs uncertainty for federal workers, our troops and their families, DREAMers, and millions that rely on federal services. 

This is not about politics. It is about standing up and fighting for what is right for the people of Hawaiʻi and this country. I will not stand by while political games in Washington threaten the health of our keiki and struggling low-income families, the readiness of our troops, and the ability for DREAMers, who were brought here as children through no choice of their own, to come out from the shadows and live free in the only home they’ve ever known. Until we actually work together to solve the challenges our country is facing, people in Hawaiʻi and across the country will continue to suffer. We need real solutions, not the same old broken status quo.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has remained committed to a long-term, bipartisan budget. She is a cosponsor of the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R.4694) and the Military Pay Protection Act (H.R.2220) to ensure furloughed federal employees and military personnel are paid during any government shutdown, and also announced she will return her salary for the days the government was shutdown.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a cosponsor of the bipartisan, bicameral DREAM Act (H.R.3440) to enact a permanent solution for millions of DREAMers across the country, and strongly opposed President Trump’s decision to end DACA.


Deeply Saddened by Senate Failure to Defend Undocumented Youth

By Michelle Boykins

The Senate voted unanimously to reopen the government through February 8 without a solution for the 800,000 DACA recipients. Their refusal to resolve the DACA crisis that the Trump administration created ignores the will of the American people, 87 percent of whom are in favor of providing a pathway to citizenship for our immigrant youth.

Disheartened is the best way to describe our reaction to Democrats’ reversal on the vote to extend government funding without a solution for undocumented youth. A number of Republicans have continuously promised to provide a resolution for DACA recipients within the negotiations about a government spending bill. A resolution for DACA recipients slipped through our fingers when Senators got cold feet. 

Any legislation to halt the Trump shutdown should have included the passage of a clean DREAM Act that would have protected over one million immigrants, including 130,000 Asian immigrants. Congress needs to remember it works for the American people. In refusing to resolve the DACA crisis, it has not only failed immigrant youth but also failed their constituents who overwhelmingly support DACA recipients. This is not just about protecting immigrants. It is also about passing humane and common-sense legislation. Republican leaders in the Senate, House, and White House are letting racists and extremists dictate their agenda. 

The plan to bring an immigration bill to a vote as standalone legislation in the Senate is not guaranteed, and it does not include a path forward for the House. The majority of Americans support a solution for DACA recipients and we have the votes in both houses to get the DREAM Act passed into law, the President and Speaker Ryan continue to obstruct a solution.

We, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, will continue to stand up to white supremacist objectives on immigration policy and press for a clean DREAM Act. Congress, it’s time to stop kicking the can down the road and pretending to be working on a solution. A bipartisan solution already exists. The American people and more than one million immigrants deserve the passage of a clean DREAM Act. Do your job.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation's members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, and Advancing Justice - Chicago.


Racist President Doubles Down on White Nationalist Agenda

Washington, DC — January 26, 2018 — The White House released its immigration framework, signaling that the Trump administration is not serious about providing a legislative solution to the 800,000 DACA recipients who are in limbo. The Trump administration is holding hostage the safety of these young immigrants in exchange for a xenophobic immigration policy that will eliminate the family-based immigration system and the diversity visa program while wasting taxpayer money on an unpopular border wall, ramping up a mass deportation machine, and stripping away due process from asylum seekers.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five civil rights organizations and collective vocal advocates for DACA recipients, issues the following statement:

The President has yet again chosen to back a racist agenda on immigration instead of coming to the table with a sensible solution for 800,000 immigrant youth.

It is deeply disturbing how this administration continues to play with people’s lives while having no regard for the will of the people. 82 percent of American voters want undocumented youth to be able to stay in the United States and have the ability to become U.S. citizens. However, this administration chose to derail any sensible solution by providing an immigration framework that is fueled by a white supremacist agenda. President Trump manufactured this problem when he ordered the shutdown of the DACA program. Now it is past time for him to listen to the American people and not to his anti-immigrant staff like Stephen Miller and John Kelly.

Our immigration policy should be guided by our morals and values around family unity and diversity, not by xenophobia and anti-family sentiments. We call on all of our elected officials to reject this hateful proposal and to follow the leadership of undocumented youth at the frontlines of this struggle. The only acceptable outcome is to swiftly pass a Clean DREAM Act. Asian Americans Advancing Justice will continue to fight against xenophobic policies and advocate for policies that treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve. (www.advancingjustice-aajc.org)

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