Senate Bipartisan Efforts to Save Dreamers Destroyed by Veto Threat

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) expressed deep disappointment in the failure of the Senate to pass commonsense reforms to protect Dreamers. At the same time, AILA commends the many Senators who stood firm against the nativist voices demanding legislation to gut legal immigration and make our country weaker.

The Senate's failure to pass a bill means that March 5, the day the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program formally expires, remains the critical deadline. Though court rulings have enjoined termination of DACA for those who have already received DACA protections, the Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to take the issue up immediately. With such uncertainty, the urgency could not be greater for Congress to pass a bill that solves the crisis and provides permanent legal status for Dreamers.

"The Senate debate and votes this week are a wakeup call to this administration which has thus far broken every pledge to help Dreamers. The President now bears the responsibility to protect Dreamers and must cooperate with bipartisan lawmakers," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. She continued, "This week was a rollercoaster, but the blame rests squarely with Stephen Miller and the extremist voices in the White House who maneuvered a veto threat to block any possibility of passing a bipartisan deal to protect Dreamers. Once again, the administration resorted to divisive politics over good policy, ignoring the fact that nearly 90% of Americans support legal status for Dreamers."

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noted, "It is time for the White House to stop holding Dreamers hostage for unreasonable demands that were soundly rejected by 60 Senators. The blame for the failure to pass legislation rests solely with the President whose misinformation and threats doomed this debate. He knows it, and we all know it. As we look back on this week's events, one thing is clearer than ever: the only path forward is a narrow deal that pairs the Dream Act with smart, sensible border security."


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18021635.