Schumer Floor Remarks In Advance Of Senate Republicans Blocking The American Dream And Promise Act

July 1, 2020

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today took to the Senate floor with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to attempt to immediately pass the bipartisan House-passed American Dream and Promise Act, which would establish a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) objected to the unanimous consent motion. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

I am here to urge my colleagues on the Republican side not to object. Follow last night's example and allow this simple, humane, and good for our economy amendment to go forward.

First, I want to salute Senator Durbin. There has been no voice—no voice—of any elected official that I know who has had a stronger, longer, and more passionate defense of the DACA kids—many of whom are now adults. And he has pricked the conscience of the nation so that now the DACA kids and their families are really, by most Americans, respected and by many Americans just loved.

I'm one of those in the latter category. I love these kids and their families. I've watched them on the front lines during the COVID crisis in New York risk their lives, even though they're not allowed to be full Americans, to help.

And now we have an opportunity here to simply say: Stop harassing them. Let them do their jobs. Let them live their lives. Let them be with their families here in America so that they can help us in our economy recover from COVID, as they have been doing, without looking over their shoulder and worrying about being deported or having one of their family members being deported every five minutes. It's such an important amendment. It's so good for the country.

The idea that immigrants are bad for America, that DACA kids are bad for America is a regressive, nativist and often bigoted idea some use for political purposes, but nothing, nothing, nothing could be further from the truth.

So I urge my colleagues not to object to Senator Durbin's fine amendment to help America live up to its ideals and its dreams. That lady in the harbor in the city in which I live, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” That's been part of the American fabric for centuries.

This is a chance to bring us back to that fabric—that wonderful fabric—that has been so good for our country for those centuries.