In a fiery speech delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) declared "this Trump shutdown is no way to govern," and denounced the offensive rhetoric used by Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump to discuss immigrants amid contentious policy debates in Congress.
"This isn't about real solutions. Republicans just want to continue to use immigrants as a scapegoat and end legal immigration as we know it," Jayapal said on Sunday. "As an immigrant myself, I am tired of being called the worst of the worst. I am tired of hearing Mexicans be called rapists or Africans called vulgarities that I cannot even repeat on this floor."
As an immigrant myself, I am tired of being called the worst of the worst, tired of hearing Mexicans called rapists and Africans called vulgarities that I cannot even repeat.— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 21, 2018
Quit your obscene anti-immigrant extremism, @GOP, and let's end the #TrumpShutDown now. pic.twitter.com/pczgsfoPQ0
In a sign of support, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) shared a portion of Jayapal's speech on Twitter. Sanders was one of 18 senators who, on Monday, voted against a three-week stopgap spending measure that did not include a deal to protect recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), undocumented young people often called Dreamers.
Ahead of a House vote on the measure Monday, Jayapal told Capitol Hill reporters that she had serious concerns about the decision by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others to support the temporary spending agreement because a promised compromise on DACA in the Senate does not assure a similar deal in the House.