PRESS STATEMENTFriday, February 16th, 2018Contact: Jacob Weinberg | Jacob@tnimmigrant.org
Future of DACA Recipients Remains Uncertain, Hundreds Continue to Lose ProtectionsNASHVILLE - More than five months after the president terminated the popular DACA program, creating a crisis for hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and their families, the Senate failed to reach consensus and defeated four proposals yesterday. Trump’s anti-immigrant wishlist, as outlined in a proposal by Senators Grassley and Cornyn, received a resounding defeat in the Senate. The Secure and Succeed Act, would have created a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth in exchange for radically escalated militarization of the border, keeping people of color out of our country by ending the diversity visa program, and attacks on family unity. It was the only one of four proposals to receive a supermajority of 60 votes - in opposition. This fringe bill did earn the support of both Tennessee Senators. Senators Alexander and Corker were among only 39 Senators to support the measure.While the bipartisan Uniting and Securing America Act (USA Act) received support from both parties, it unfortunately failed to pass by 8 votes. The USA Act was a narrow compromise that would have created a generous pathway to citizenship and some sensible border security policies. For more on our analysis and position on the four proposals on the table yesterday see here.The following is a statement from Stephanie Teatro, TIRRC Co-Executive Director:"While we’re disappointed and angry that the Senate failed to reach an agreement to protect immigrant youth, they issued a strong rebuke of Trump’s racist and radical agenda. Since the president terminated DACA, extremists in the White House and Congress have been trying to hold immigrant youth hostage in order to advance their anti-immigrant agenda and have killed every bipartisan compromise put forth.This is a crisis. Nearly 20,000 youth have lost their DACA protections and are subject to deportations. This is not the time to debate broader immigration reform, which has repeatedly failed. It’s clear that the only path forward is a narrow solution to address the crisis created by Trump without fundamentally altering our immigration system and harming other immigrant communities. We urge Senators Alexander and Corker to support a narrow bill like the USA Act to solve this crisis immediately."The following is a statement from Cesar Bautista, TIRRC Youth Organizer: "As disappointing as yesterday’s votes were, immigrant youth remain undeterred. We will not give up this fight because our lives and the lives of our loved ones depend on it. We know we are on the right side of history, and we know we deserve freedom, safety and respect. We will continue organizing, and we will continue fighting for permanent protection for immigrant youth because we believe a breakthrough is possible. Tennessee is our home and we are here to stay."
TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state. Since its founding in 2001, TIRRC has worked to develop immigrant leadership, build the capacity of its immigrant-led member organizations, help immigrant community members understand and engage in the civic process, and educate the public about policies that would better promote integration of new immigrants and facilitate their full participation in US society. In just a few years TIRRC has grown from a grassroots network of community leaders into one of the most diverse and effective coalitions of its kind, a model for emerging immigrant rights organizations in the Southeast and throughout the United States.