Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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Torres, O’Rourke Lead Lawmakers in Urging House Appropriators Against Using Taxpayer Funds to Deport DREAMers

June 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) led thirty-nine members of Congress in a letter calling on the Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the House Committee on Appropriations not to utilize taxpayer funds in the FY 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to deport individuals eligible for the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program.

 

“We are committed to continuing to work through the legislative process to find a solution that protects DREAMers and allows them to contribute to our nation through work and study, free from the fear that comes from the prospect of deportation to countries that many DREAMers barely know,” the federal lawmakers wrote.  “As these negotiations continue, and as the various legal challenges to DACA nullification proceed, we respectfully urge you to ensure, through the inclusion of reasonable limitations on Immigration and Customs Enforcement funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, that taxpayer funds are not utilized to deport DREAMers.”     

 

Last year, Torres and O’Rourke introduced the Dreamer Protection Act, which would prevent the administration from spending taxpayer dollars to apprehend, detain, or deport DREAMers who lose their status as the result of potential changes to the DACA program by the President or other officials.  

 

In addition to Torres and O’Rourke, the letter was signed by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), John A. Yarmuth (D-KY), Salud O. Carbajal (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), John Lewis (D-GA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Filemon Vela (D-TX), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), J. Luis Correa (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Jim Costa (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), André Carson (D-IN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Adam Smith (D-WA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Gene Green (D-TX).          

 

Torres is a member of the powerful Rules Committee and Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Budget Task Force. She is a is a cosponsor of H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that would provide a path to citizenship for young immigrants who were brought here as children. She has also signed onto H.Res 774, a “discharge petition,” which would provide for consideration of four different DACA fixes. If a majority of Representatives sign the discharge petition, the bill receiving the greatest number of votes would be considered as adopted by the House of Representatives.

 

You can view the final letter HERE

 

The full text of the letter is available below:

 

Dear Chairman Yoder and Ranking Member Roybal-Allard,

 

As you continue work on the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, we write to urge you to ensure that appropriated funds are not utilized to deport those individuals who are eligible to participate in the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. 

 

Since its creation in 2012, the DACA program has provided protection from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought here as children, and who seek to contribute to their adopted country through work and study. Furthermore, the DACA program gave hope to many more DREAMers who were eligible for the program and intended to apply. However, as you know, in September 2017, the Trump administration nullified the DACA program, placing in jeopardy the future of those young people who had already received protection through DACA, and crushing the dreams of those who were eligible for the program’s benefits, but had not yet applied. 

 

In the past several months, judges in California, New York, and Maryland have issued rulings regarding the administration’s decision to end DACA. Those rulings have obliged the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to process renewal applications of current and former DACA participants, and to refrain from sharing identifying information of DACA beneficiaries. Additionally, a judge in the District of Columbia has ruled that DACA would be fully reinstated unless the Trump Administration adequately justifies the DACA nullification within 90 days of his ruling, which was handed down on April 24, 2018.

 

At the same time, Members of Congress in both chambers have been working on a bipartisan basis to find a legislative path forward for DREAMers. In particular, Representatives Jeff Denham, Will Hurd, and Carlos Curbelo have sought support for a “Queen of the Hill” rule to identify the DACA fix with the broadest support among House members. If adopted, H.Res. 774 would provide for consideration of four different DACA fixes, including one Democratic-sponsored bill and three Republican-sponsored bills; the bill receiving the greatest number of votes would be considered as adopted by the House of Representatives.

 

We are committed to continuing to work through the legislative process to find a solution that protects DREAMers and allows them to contribute to our nation through work and study, free from the fear that comes from the prospect of deportation to countries that many DREAMers barely know.  As these negotiations continue, and as the various legal challenges to DACA nullification proceed, we respectfully urge you to ensure, through the inclusion of reasonable limitations on Immigration and Customs Enforcement funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, that taxpayer funds are not utilized to deport DREAMers. 

      

Thank you for considering this request, and for all of your work on the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.

 

Sincerely,

 

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CONTACT:

Veronica Bonilla/Edgar D. Rodríguez (Torres), (202) 225-6161

Rob Friedlander (O’Rourke), (202) 225-4831