Critics of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed him for caving to Republicans after he announced Monday that the necessary number of Democrats would support a three-week spending bill to end the #TrumpShutdown without first reaching an agreement to protect undocumented youth known as Dreamers.
"It's official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington—even worse than Trump. Any plan to protect Dreamers that relies on the word of serial liars like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Donald Trump is doomed to fail."
—Murshed Zaheed, CREDO
Schumer's announcement alarmed immigrant rights advocates and recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)—or Dreamers—who have urged Democrats to "stand strong" and resist a spending measure that doesn't include a permanent DACA fix.
"It's official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington—even worse than Trump," CREDO political director Murshed Zaheed said. "Any plan to protect Dreamers that relies on the word of serial liars like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Donald Trump is doomed to fail."
"The fact is, Republicans do not want to protect Dreamers, and they won't do it unless Democrats force their hand by insisting that a clean DREAM Act is attached to a must-pass spending bill," Zaheed continued, adding, "in getting outmaneuvered by Sen. McConnell today, Chuck Schumer has failed dreamers and let the entire Democratic Party down."
"A promise from known liars Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Donald Trump isn't worth the paper it's printed on, yet despite that fact, most Senate Democrats, including Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, voted to allow Donald Trump to continue to subject an ever growing number of Dreamers to lives threatened by deportation from the only home they've ever known," noted Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America.
"Today's cave by some Senate Democrats was not only a stunning display of moral and political cowardice, it was a strategically incoherent move that demonstrates precisely why so many believe the Democratic Party doesn't stand for anything."
—Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America
"That's not what moral courage or leadership in the face of Trump's hate looks like, and it sure as hell isn't a display of competent negotiating skills," Chamberlain added. "Today's cave by some Senate Democrats was not only a stunning display of moral and political cowardice, it was a strategically incoherent move that demonstrates precisely why so many believe the Democratic Party doesn't stand for anything."
"Trump and Republicans in Congress stood with their anti-immigrant nativist base, and too many Democrats backed down, abandoned Dreamers, and failed to fight for their values," said MoveOn.org executive director Ilya Sheyman, who called the stopgap measure a "bad, outrageous deal."
"The fight is far from over," Sheyman added, "with days until DACA expires for all recipients and with the Senate now likely to consider the DREAM Act that the vast majority of Americans support, the grassroots progressive movement is committed to mobilizing alongside Dreamers until we win."
Immigrant advocates weighed in on Twitter, denouncing Schumer for "turning his back on Dreamers" and Democrats for failing to "use their leverage to protect immigrant youth."
Who says @SpeakerRyan will even bring it up for a vote? Shame on @SenateDems for caving. 122 Dreamers lose protections each day. @SenSchumer is turning his back on Dreamers. We didn’t march this weekend to support this spineless leadership. #DreamKiller https://t.co/eBz1BC2k81
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— Indivisible Midlands (@IndivisibleSC_2) January 22, 2018
Congress votes on a 3 week CR w/out #DreamAct. Dems failed to fight & use their leverage to protect immigrant youth. A false promise to vote on immigration from Rs is not a strategy to win. We won't be fooled. This vote means deportation. Won't stop fighting! #DreamActNow
— Cristina Jimenez (@CrisAlexJimenez) January 22, 2018
Shame on Chuck Schumer.
The deal he just made with Republicans hinges on Mitch McConnell's honesty and integrity.
What a foolish thing they've done.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) January 22, 2018
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—who were among the 18 lawmakers who voted against the measure—immediately stated their opposition to Schumer's announcement.
I will keep working with my colleagues to find a long-term solution that supports members of our military, funds CHIP and community health centers, provides resources for those recovering from disasters & guarantees a future for young immigrants who are as American as all of us.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 22, 2018
It’s been over 100 days since protection for 800k Dreamers ended, since community health centers were funded, since hurricanes ravaged TX, FL & PR. The Republicans refused to fix any of these issues– and they still haven't fixed them. We don't need new promises. We need new laws.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 22, 2018
Addressing the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Schumer said, "after several discussions, offers, counteroffers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement" to reopen the government and to "continue negotiating" on immigration. Schumer added that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has agreed that if an immigration deal can't be reached before the stopgap spending measure expires on Feb. 8, "the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation dealing with DACA."