Schumer Remarks Calling for a Vote on the DREAM Act

September 6, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today delivered remarks at a press conference denouncing President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and urging a vote on a clean DREAM Act. Below are his remarks:

It’s not great to be here, we wish we didn’t have to be here, but be here we must. And, I want to thank the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for organizing this event, and all of my colleagues in the Senate who I would like to mention if I can see them all:

Senators Klobuchar, Van Hollen, Merkley, Udall, Heinrich, Blumenthal, Warner – well he’s tall – anyone else? So is Heinrich, they’re the tall ones, and they modestly stood to the back.

But let me say this. I want to cut to the chase. The President’s decision – the President’s decision to end DACA was heartless, and it was brainless.

If this order stands, hundreds of thousands of families will be ripped apart. Tens of thousands of American businesses will lose hard-working employees.

We’re talking about folks who were brought here as children through no fault of their own. They may have known no other country but ours, and have voluntarily registered themselves with the government in order to live, work, and give back to our great country.

They represent no threat to the country. In fact, in so many ways, the Dreamers represent the best of our country. They want to get right by the law by serving in the military, going to our schools, working at our companies, contributing to our society, paying their taxes.

They risk and sometimes give their lives to protect others in this country overseas, as members of the armed forces and here at home, like Alonso Guillen, a DACA recipient who died just last week trying to save others from the unprecedented flood waters in Texas.

So make no mistake, Dreamers contribute greatly to our country, to our business, to our economy. A recent study by the Center for American Progress found that ninety-one percent of DACA recipients are employed, paying taxes, paying into Social Security.

The same study found that ending DACA would drain $433 billion from our national GDP over 10 years. Even the libertarian Cato Institute estimated that ending DACA would cost employers nearly $2 billion over two years.

It’s no wonder that 500 business leaders of America are up in arms over the President’s decision.

Now I’m glad that some Republicans in Congress have voiced their opposition to the President’s decision, because we are going to need them to right the ship. Congress has an ability and an obligation to act, which is why we today are calling on Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell to immediately put the DREAM Act on the floor for a vote in the House and Senate

We’re ready to pass it. I am confident that if put on the floor, it will garner overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle.

But let us say this, and I think I speak for the Leader as well, if a clean DREAM Act does not come to the floor in September, we’re prepared to attach it to other items this Fall until it passes.