Dozens of Hollywood biggest stars sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging the top Democratic lawmakers to provide legal protection for the illegal immigrants (or DREAMers) benefiting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program.
“We respectfully urge you to listen to members of senior party leadership, who have insisted that there must be no final spending bill that does not ensure that the Dreamers have a secure future here in the United States,” reads the letter, signed by Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Jennifer Lawrence, and actors Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, and Chris Evans.
“This is a moral issue that demands action, without further delay. Dreamers and DACA recipients are an integral part of our country, so we are urging you to make sure that you use your power to get this done before leaving to spend the holidays with your own families,” the letter says, according to The Hill. “We understand that Democratic votes will be needed to pass a spending bill or continuing resolution to fund the government.”
Republican and Democratic lawmakers signaled this week that a bipartisan amnesty bill, which would grant legal status for some 3.5 million illegal aliens, could be finalized within weeks.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said last month that he would vote to shut down the federal government at the end of the year if a Republican spending bill does not include DACA amnesty legislation.
“We value your promise to hold all the members of your caucus to vote on a clean Dream Act without harmful amendments, like a costly border wall, border militarization such as an increase in Border Patrol agents, additional immigration detention funding or increases in [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents, or other measures that undermine the spirit of this bill,” reads the letter, which was also signed by Josh Gad, Cynthia Nixon, Ilana Glazer, Ellen Page, and Shailene Woodley.
“We ask you to uphold your promise to these Dreamers and the majority of the American people, who support these young people who are living in the worst kind of limbo, by ensuring that Dreamers are protected before Congress leaves for holiday recess this December.”
In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ officially announced the end of the Obama-era program that had granted temporary legal status to nearly 800,000 thousand people who illegally entered the U.S. with their parents as children.
However, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he believes Congress could vote on some form of a DACA deal as early as January.