Congressional Democrats on Wednesday demanded a stand-alone vote on a solution for undocumented immigrants protected under DACA -- threatening to logjam the fall session if they don't get one.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer drew a line in the sand for Republican congressional leaders.
"We're calling on (House Speaker Paul) Ryan and (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell to immediately put the Dream Act for a vote on the floor in the House and Senate," Schumer said. "I'm confident that if put on the floor, it will garner overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle."
He added: "If a clean Dream Act does not come to the floor in September, we're prepared to attach it to other items this fall until it passes."
Democratic lawmakers, holding a press event on Capitol Hill, repeatedly emphasized the need for a solution to protect recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to live, work and study in the US without fear of deportation.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the program would end, with a six month window for Congress to make the executive action permanent in the law.
Schumer and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin gave credit to Republicans who have already voiced support for a legislative solution on DACA, with Durbin specifically calling out South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, with whom he co-sponsored the Dream Act, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.
"I'm glad that some Republicans in Congress have voiced their opposition to the President's decision, because we're going to need them to right the ship," Schumer said.
And lawmakers took plenty of shots at Trump for his move.
"We all agree that President Trump's decision to end DACA is a despicable act of political cowardice," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said. "Cowardice squared because he gave the announcement to his attorney general."
Lawmakers also indicated that they would not agree to a compromise position, such as money for a wall being attached to a DACA bill.
"We've got to stop playing politics with these kids," said rising Democratic star Sen. Kamala Harris of California, which has the greatest population of DACA recipients of any state.
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