By Judy Kurtz
December 20, 2017
More than 40 entertainers — including Scarlett Johansson, “Captain America” star Chris Evans, Julianne Moore, “Spotlight’s” Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Lawrence and Don Cheadle — are calling on top Democrats to “uphold [their] promise” to young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
“We respectfully urge you to listen to members of senior party leadership, who have insisted that there must be no final spending bill that does not ensure that the Dreamers have a secure future here in the United States,” the performers wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September. About 690,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” depend on the program to live and work in the United States.
“This is a moral issue that demands action, without further delay. Dreamers and DACA recipients are an integral part of our country, so we are urging you to make sure that you use your power to get this done before leaving to spend the holidays with your own families,” the letter says. “We understand that Democratic votes will be needed to pass a spending bill or continuing resolution to fund the government.”
A bipartisan group of senators has been negotiating legislation that would tie a fix for the Obama-era DACA program to a border security package. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is part of that group, predicted on Wednesday that a bill would be on the Senate floor in January.
“We value your promise to hold all the members of your caucus to vote on a clean Dream Act without harmful amendments, like a costly border wall, border militarization such as an increase in Border Patrol agents, additional immigration detention funding or increases in [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents, or other measures that undermine the spirit of this bill,” the letter states.
Other signatures on the open letter include “Saturday Night Live’s” Aidy Bryant, “Frozen’s” Josh Gad, “Orange is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba, Minnie Driver, “Sex and the City” alum Cynthia Nixon, “Broad City’s” Ilana Glazer, Ellen Page, Marisa Tomei and Shailene Woodley, as well as organizations including MoveOn.org, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement and others.
The letter ends by saying, “We ask you to uphold your promise to these Dreamers and the majority of the American people, who support these young people who are living in the worst kind of limbo, by ensuring that Dreamers are protected before Congress leaves for holiday recess this December.”
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