- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 21, 2018

A key group of illegal immigrant “Dreamers” said Sunday that a deal lawmakers are considering to reopen the government with a promise to turn to immigration soon isn’t good enough, heaping more pressure on Democrats to keep the shutdown going.

Dreamers staged a vigil at the Capitol Sunday evening, amid rumblings that a bipartisan group was seeking a way to end the shutdown. Senators said they were considering voting for a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8, in exchange for a commitment to debate immigration in February, in the run-up to a March 5 deadline.

But United We Dream, a major advocacy group for Dreamers, said future action isn’t enough.

“Promises won’t protect anyone from deportation because delay means deportations for us,” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, advocacy director for the group and a Dreamer herself. “We need Congress to deliver a breakthrough on the Dream Act to protect immigrant youth now.”

Dreamers say more than 100 of them are losing protections each day from the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty, and so each day matters. They have rejected the March 5 deadline that most members of Congress adhere to for an immigration solution.

They have demanded a legalization bill be approved before the shutdown ends. The version Democrats are pushing would grant full citizenship rights to perhaps more than 2 million illegal immigrants, or far more than the 690,000 who are covered by the DACA program.

Republicans and Democrats are debating the scope of any new amnesty, and the extent of border security and other policy changes that must be included along with it.

With no deal in sight, Democrats led a filibuster Friday night to block government funding, sending federal agencies into a partial shutdown.

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