Capitol Alert

Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer face pressure to protect ‘Dreamers’

Immigration advocates have a message for Democratic leaders of the House and Senate: Don’t give up on “Dreamers.”

“A clean Dream Act must be passed immediately to ensure the safety, dignity and livelihood of immigrant youth, their families and the broader communities they are part of,” advocates wrote in a letter addressed to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

California has the largest population of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients – undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children – in the country. President Donald Trump is ending the Obama-era program in March 2018.

Groups, including the California-based Courage Campaign and “United We Dream,” are lobbying lawmakers today as part of a national day of action, seeking to pressure lawmakers into passing a fix by the end of the year. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris have called on Congress to take up the federal legislation, which includes a path to citizenship for some undocumented residents.

Congress must pass a spending bill by Dec. 22. Pelosi had previously called for a “clean” Dream Act – one without bargaining chips such as funding for a border wall – to be included as part of the deal, but its fate remains unclear. Republicans passed a temporary funding bill earlier this month without addressing the issue. Legislation protecting such young immigrants could take seven months or more to implement, according to some estimates, putting at risk the status of undocumented people currently protected under the program.

Immigration advocates and “Dreamers” worry Democrats, including Pelosi, have backed off their push for a legislative solution as part of a year-end spending deal.

“We want to make clear that votes on any spending bill that moves forward without a clean Dream Act are votes to deport Dreamers and rip communities apart,” the letter said.

WORTH REPEATING: Doug Jones should be seated immediately – before we vote again on the tax bill. Alabama voters deserve to have their voice heard in this fight.” – Sen. Kamala Harris on Twitter, speaking about the newly elected Alabama senator.

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HAPPY HANUKKAH: A Hanukkah celebration commences at 5 p.m. on the west steps of the Capitol, with a menorah lighting, live music and speakers.

GIRL LEADERS: Harris will speak to 10,000 middle and high school girls today about the importance of activism, leadership and women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The address, at the “Girls Build Leadership Summit” begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

STATE HEARINGS: Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, chairs a hearing today titled “identifying the status of Native American boys and men living in Northern California.” It is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon at Mooretown Rancheria in Oroville.

MUST READ: Colleagues say Sen. Bob Hertzberg hugged them inappropriately.

CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to state Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, who turns 78 on Friday, and Rep. Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, who turns 51 on Sunday.

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