A Shameful Vote Should be a Reminder Recovery For All is Crucial to Defeat COVID-19

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Eight democrats fail their first test of political will, falling for Republican’s white nationalist agenda, and voting to deny undocumented immigrants from receiving financial assistance during the pandemic.

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, by a 58-42 vote the Senate agreed to Sen. Young’s (R-IN) Amendment 54  which excludes undocumented immigrants from receiving stimulus checks and would deliberately exclude U.S. citizen children and spouses of undocumented people. This despite the hardships immigrants have faced during the pandemic. 

The amendment in question did not pass in the final budget thanks to pressure from our communities and to Senate Democratic leadership who stripped the amendment from the final bill. However, eight Democrats – Hassan (D-NH) Hickenlooper (D-CO) Kelly (D-AZ) Manchin (D-WV) Peters (D-MI) Sinema (D-AZ) Stabenow (D-MI) and Tester (D-MT) alongside Republicans are on the record opposing recovery for all. This also comes after Republicans like Sens. Rubio (R-FL) and Tillis (R-NC) tried to score political points by introducing legislation last summer that would provide stimulus checks to the U.S. citizen children and spouses of undocumented immigrants. It’s not surprising that these Republicans are now quick to throw these same families under the bus, when there’s no election in question. 

Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director of United We Dream Action, said:

“Late yesterday evening 58 Senators, including eight Democrats, made a shameful declaration: that in the middle of an unprecedented global health crisis, they were fine with some of their constituents going hungry or losing their homes. Ultimately, this amendment was removed from the final bill by Democratic leadership led by Majority Leader Schumer as a result of pressure from progressives. 

Under Trump undocumented people have been excluded from receiving federal stimulus checks. But this must stop now. Under a Democratic President and Congress, elected officials must act to protect every person. 

To the eight Democrats who allowed themselves to be used as a tool to advance Republican’s white nationalist agenda: the broad multi-racial coalition of Black, Latinx, APPI, and Indigenous voters and organizers who helped deliver a Democratic Senate Majority didn’t help you win so you could buckle under pressure and fall for bad faith anti-immigrant attacks. 

This shameful vote should be a reminder that we need a recovery that works for all, regardless of immigration status, in order for our country to fully recover from COVID-19. So long as undocumented people are denied the rights of citizenship, they will continue to be subject to such partisan attacks, which is why it is imperative for those who cast these shameful votes to redeem themselves by growing a spine and fighting with us to enact a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people.” 

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United We Dream Action is the leading national network fighting for dignity and justice led by immigrant youth and allies. We are a dynamic community of thousands of immigrant youth nationwide who build independent political power for those directly impacted by injustice. We organize and take action to win victories so that all people can be safe and thrive.