Sen. Bernard Sanders said Sunday it will be a “moral outrage” if Congress does not act to protect so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
President Trump set a March deadline for Congress to pass a fix for these immigrants, saying he wouldn’t be able to defend in court their Obama-era amnesty program known as DACA.
“If we do not act, you’re going to have 800,000 people with no legal status who will be subject to deportation — thrown out of the only country they have ever known. This is a moral outrage,” Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent, told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Progressives like Mr. Sanders had demanded a fix for Dreamers before heading home for the holidays, saying an artificial deadline is necessary to make sure it got done.
Yet Congress on Thursday brushed aside those concerns and approved a short-term spending bill to carry the government into the new year, narrowly avoiding a shutdown and punting thorny issues, like DACA, into January.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s agreed to devote floor time in January to a bill to protect the Dreamers.
He also said he’s allowing a working group of Republicans and Democrats to debate the contours of that legislation.
“There is no emergency until March, and we’ll keep talking about it and hopefully get to an outcome,” the Kentucky Republican said.
It’s unclear if the parties will strike a quick agreement. Democrats say they’re open to beefing up border security as part of any deal, though not the type of border wall that Mr. Trump has pushed for since his campaign.
Mr. Trump also wants to beef up enforcement of immigration laws within the country.