Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) on Wednesday urged Democrats to oppose any spending bill that funds a border wall as reports surfaced that some establishment Republicans are pushing the White House to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years in exchange for just three years of funding for the border wall.
Gutierrez said the upcoming spending fight “could be the last opportunity to actually take permanent legislative action” for DACA recipients and also called for a reduction in funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s “detention and deportation machine, specifically funding for detention beds, deportation agents operating under ICE and CBP, and border militarization.”
Gutierrez and 82 House Democrats sent a letter to House leadership in both parties laying out their demands on Wednesday.
The Illinois Democrat blasted President Donald Trump and his “henchmen” on the House floor for “killing the DACA program” and reiterated that he was one of the first Democrats who said that he would not support spending bills that did not include a permanent DACA fix or the Dream Act.
“We oppose any funding that expands the construction of walls or fencing at the southern border,” said Gutierrez, who said during the last spending debate that he would be willing to go down to the border with bricks and mortar to help build the border wall for a path to citizenship for all DACA recipients. “We should instead allocate border security resources to modernize the infrastructure and technology at our ports of entry, which would actually benefit our country and our economy.”
Gutierrez, who has called Trump a “racist” who does not want immigrants who look like “the King of Wakanda” in America, again claimed that Republicans want to limit immigration to change “the racial make-up of America’s immigrants so that more of them are white and fewer of them come from countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.” As always, Gutierrez conveniently left out the fact that Trump reportedly said he wanted more immigrants from some Asian countries.
“We are once again chasing bad policies down a rabbit hole because the real agenda on the other side of the aisle is to leverage the national concern over the plight of the Dreamers into a radical re-ordering of legal immigration to make it whiter,” he continued.
He also urged lawmakers to not be distracted by Trump’s “nativist agenda” or “bills in Congress that seek to implement his nationalist views” and asked them to “not allow the deportation and family destruction machine to thrive and grow on our watch.”
“Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. The federal courts didn’t settle this or give us a permanent solution; they just gave a lot of lawmakers a convenient excuse for inaction. And I’m not buying it and neither should you,” he said. “We must take a stand, right here, right now, and stand up for what is right and what is beneficial to our country.”