By now we are certain you've heard the government shut down over the weekend after Senate Republicans failed to secure enough votes to pass a spending bill. That's despite controlling both houses of Congress. Some Republicans joined the Democrats in standing up for immigrant youth despite the turmoil a shutdown would cause. Of course, most decided a shutdown was worth not protecting children brought here illegally by their parents.
Worst of all, the Republicans in Washington cynically tried to create a false choice between providing funding for the nearly 9 million children through the State Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and protecting the 800,000 young people through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. Mitch McConnell tweeted that Democrats would have to choose: vote for their spending bill to save CHIP or vote against to save DACA.
The health of our children should never be used as pawns in these partisan political games. Similarly, the United States is the only home DACA recipients know. They were brought here as children and deserve to remain -- as we promised them. The truth is these issues could have been handled months ago. CHIP could have been funded. Trump's destruction of DACA could have been reversed. Instead, President Trump and the Republicans chose to focus on increasing the deficit with their massive corporate tax giveaway.
Today a vote is expected to extend funding for the government through February 8, with a Republican promise to begin debate on DACA afterwards. Democrats may vote it down, wanting a stronger commitment. We encourage you to contact your representatives and ask them to hold firm, to stand up for DACA.
This past Saturday marked President Trump's one year in office. Given the inescapable tumult we all had to endure over the past year, it is unfortunately fitting that his first anniversary ended with shutting down the government. This November, we get the opportunity to render our collective disapproval of their immoral decision to put the health of children at risk and their attempts to deny the dignity of aspiring Americans. We will not forget.