Last Thursday, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Henderson) met with immigrant rights activists in Las Vegas to discuss ways to protect DACA and TPS recipients. The next day, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) gathered with activists and community leaders at Las Vegas City Hall to outline her plan of action to help immigrant communities.
With the Trump Administration ending DACA and rolling back TPS, activists are demanding that Congress pass legislation with permanent legal status and a path to citizenship. During their respective meetings with stakeholders, Rosen and Titus promised to do everything they could to deliver just that.
“It’s really a matter of values. We need to keep families together!”
– Rep. Jacky Rosen
In December, Rosen, Titus, and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) all voted against the continuing resolution spending bill due to Republican leaders’ refusal to schedule a vote on the DREAM Act.
At a lunch meeting with activists at Lindo Michoacan in Las Vegas, Rosen showed no sign of regretting that vote. Instead she reassured them of her commitment to finding a lasting solution for DREAMers and refugees who’ve been covered under TPS. For Rosen, “It’s really a matter of values. We need to keep families together!”
“He said, ‘No thanks is necessary.’ He knew it was the right thing to do.”
– Rep. Jacky Rosen, on thanking Rep. Mark Amodei for supporting the DREAM Act
After lunch, Rosen spoke with local media about what she and her Democratic colleagues are doing to secure a vote on the DREAM Act. “We have what’s called a discharge petition, where we can bring bills to the floor,” Rosen explained. “We’re just short by about 20 votes. Quite a few Republicans have signed on.”
Rosen was pleased when she noticed that one of those Republicans was Mark Amodei (R-Carson City). “When I heard that he was one of the [Republicans] who signed it, I went onto the floor and thanked him.” His response? “He said, ‘No thanks is necessary.’ He knew it was the right thing to do.”
And yet, Senator Dean Heller (R) remains Nevada’s only Member of Congress who has not endorsed the DREAM Act. Rosen, who is running against Heller for U.S. Senate this year, was vocal in expressing her disappointment. “I’m hoping that Senator Heller, along with many of his colleagues on the other side, look at this as family values.” She added, “Senator Heller needs to come here, come into the community, [and] listen to their stories.”
“I think just like a clean DREAM Act, it would pass.”
– Rep. Jacky Rosen, on whether TPS extension legislation can pass Congress
The DREAM Act has attracted plenty of attention for months, whereas TPS has often been less publicized. After lunch, Rosen stressed her commitment to finding a solution for refugees as well. “We’re sending a letter asking the Department of Homeland Security to keep these protections in place, extend the timeframe, and see what we can do […] to pass some legislation to make these protections permanent.”
When asked about using a discharge petition for one of the TPS extension bills, such as the ASPIRE Act, Rosen said she’s open to it: “That’s a really good suggestion.” Rosen added that she wants to meet with one of the bill’s cosponsors, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), to discuss how they can move it to the House floor. “When I go back on Monday, I will talk with her about […] bringing that bill to the floor. I think just like a clean DREAM Act, it would pass.”
“The notion that this can’t be fixed is just not true.”
– Rep. Dina Titus
At Las Vegas City Hall last Friday, Titus detailed how these immigration issues hit home. “There are some 13,000 DREAMers here in Nevada who are already affected by this deadline.” Titus continued, “Every day that goes by, 100 DACA recipients lose their status and face uncertainty in their future, not just for them personally, but also for their whole families.”
Titus then specified what she and many of her colleagues have been doing to advance the DREAM Act: “We have protested on the steps of the Capitol. We have fasted at the Mall. […] We have signed a discharge petition.” She added, “The notion that this can’t be fixed is just not true.”
HAPPENING NOW: Rep. Dina Titus, the Culinary Union, and local immigrant rights activists are at Las Vegas City Hall to demand passage of the DREAM Act and TPS extension to protect immigrants at risk of deportation due to President Donald Trump's rollback of DACA and TPS.
Posted by Nevada Forward on Friday, January 5, 2018
“I think [the DREAM Act] should be part of the continuing resolution. We shouldn’t vote for it if that doesn’t happen.”
– Rep. Dina Titus
After the program, Titus explained to us why the upcoming January 19 budget deadline must also be Congress’ deadline for the DREAM Act. “We want the DREAMers protected. I think it should be part of the continuing resolution. We shouldn’t vote for it if that doesn’t happen.”
Republican leaders have argued that Congress can wait until March to do something. Titus suspects they’re saying this for a very cynical reason: “We think the Republicans are trying to push it to the very end, and try to trade it for funding for a [border] wall. I can’t believe that’s something you’d risk children for, but that’s their mentality.”
“I’m glad that Amodei signed the discharge petition, but he needs to bring more of his friends along with him.”
– Rep. Dina Titus
Titus also explained why she’s cosponsoring the American Promise Act, Rep. Nydia Velazquez’s (D-New York) bill to guarantee a path to citizenship for TPS holders, and clearer guidelines for the TPS program going forward. “They’ve been here 25 years. They’ve got children who are American citizens.” Titus continued, “And now, we want them to pack up and go back? That’s just not the way this country was built.”
When asked about using a discharge petition for this or another TPS bill, Titus responded, “I would like to see that happen.” She then placed the onus on the Republican majority to deliver signatures and votes to protect immigrants in need. “Republicans say a lot of things, that they want to help DREAMers, then they don’t do anything. I’m glad that Amodei signed the discharge petition [for the DREAM Act], but he needs to bring more of his friends along with him.”