Dear MoveOn member,
Just 24 hours ago, it looked like DACA might be history.
But now, believe it or not, we have a chance to not just save DACA, but make it permanent.
Here's the deal: On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA would be terminated in just six months, and that 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. as children—and who have built full lives as Americans—would face deportation. Then, last night, in the face of a massive public backlash, Donald Trump started to backtrack.1
He called on Congress to "legalize DACA"—and said that if Congress fails to do so, he'd revisit the issue.2 Now, Republicans in Congress who had previously opposed deporting Dreamers are suddenly on the spot to take action. And here's the thing: if you add up all of the Democrats and Republicans who had previously endorsed legislation to legalize DACA, we're only five House votes short of getting this done.
This could be the biggest positive progressive victory since Trump became president, and we're going big. We will work relentlessly with our partners at immigrant-led organizations to make sure that 800,000 young people are not faced with the horrors of mass deportation.
The fundamental reason why we can win is because the public is overwhelmingly on our side. Polls show that 76% of Americans, including 69% of Republicans, back legal status for Dreamers.3
In the Senate, Republicans Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and Lisa Murkowski co-sponsored a bill to codify DACA. Republican Thom Tillis supports a similar bill. Eight other Republican senators voted for the so-called Gang of Eight bill that went even further than DACA. Add to them the 48 Democrats ... that's 60 senators.
In the House, we need 218 votes, and there are 222 representatives who have voted for or co-sponsored pro-DACA legislation.4 And then there are the Republicans from districts that Trump lost who had not supported DACA before, but will be under enormous pressure to support it now.
Bottom line? The votes are there if we can mobilize enough support to overcome the opposition of the far-right, nativist wing of the Republican Party and pass a clean Dream Act bill that saves DACA—without putting more deportation agents on the streets; rounding up and jailing Dreamers' parents, friends, or family members; or funding Trump's wasteful border wall.
If we can raise the funds, we will work with immigrant youth-led groups to:
- Flood Republicans with constituent phone calls. We'll bring back the record-shattering call program that helped us make hundreds of thousands of phone calls to Congress in the fight against Trumpcare. Our program uses email, text messages, phone calls, and a volunteer-led, person-to-person text messaging team to reach millions of people around the country.
- Produce videos and run online ads. We're gearing up to produce ads targeting vulnerable swing Republicans who have substantial Latino populations in their districts and/or whose districts lean more progressive—but have not yet come out in support of the Dream Act.
- Fly banner-toting airplanes in key districts. We'll fly airplanes in the home districts of key Republicans, making sure they don't miss our message and garnering news coverage.
Will you chip in $3 to help launch a major push to make DACA a permanent fix for Dreamers—and secure the first proactive progressive victory under Trump?
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Sunjeev, Schuyler, Anne, and the rest of the team
1. "Trump ends DACA but gives Congress window to save it," CNN, September 5, 2017
2. "Trump Moves to End DACA and Calls on Congress to Act," The New York Times, September 5, 2017
3. "New Poll: 76% of Americans, Including 69% of Republicans, Back Legal Status for Dreamers," America's Voice, September 5, 2017
4. "Congress Probably Has The Votes To Make DACA Law. But That Doesn't Mean It Will." FiveThirtyEight, September 5, 2017
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