A coalition of progressive groups organized a last-minute protest on Capitol Hill Friday evening to call on the Republican-controlled Congress and President Donald Trump to avert the looming government shutdown by passing a spending bill that protects Dreamers and funds child healthcare without concessions.
"Donald Trump and the Republicans are driving us towards a government shutdown to support his racist, anti-immigrant agenda," organizers declared on the protest's Facebook event. "Show up to tell them to pass a bipartisan deal to protect Dreamers and avert a #TrumpShutdown—and if the Republicans DO shut down the government, be the first to say '#DoYourJob, pass the #DreamAct, and end the #TrumpShutdown now!'"
The president and Republicans lawmakers have come under fire for their repeated failures to approve long-term funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and their numerous attempts to use recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or Dreamers, as "bargaining chips" to force through Congress harsher immigration enforcement measures.
Friday's protest, which was organized by United We Dream, the Center for American Progress, Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org, and others, begins at 7pm at the U.S. Capitol. Speakers will include Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
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MoveOn.org's Washington director, Ben Wikler, urged participants to "bring signs, warm clothing, and outrage."
PROTEST 7PM TONIGHT 1/19 @ US CAPITOL
STOP THE #TRUMPSHUTDOWN & PROTECT DREAMERS!
Speakers: @KamalaHarris @BernieSanders Dreamers & many more
* * Bring signs, warm clothing, and outrage—we'll have lights * *
PLEASE RT! RSVP & INVITE FRIENDS IN DC: https://t.co/8BblabeYLs pic.twitter.com/8nmtsnRybI
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) January 19, 2018