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Illinois Dem invites 'Dreamer' to Trump's first State of the Union address

Jan 24, 2018
In The News

A House Democrat will bring a “Dreamer” to President Trump’s inaugural State of the Union address next week as lawmakers try to keep the heat on the White House and Congress to shield young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) announced Wednesday that Ana Campa Castillo, who came to the United States from Mexico City when she was 6 years old, will be his guest to Trump’s State of the Union speech. Castillo is pursuing an associate’s degree in psychology at Joliet Junior College and is the vice president of Latinos Unidos, one of the largest student organizations.

“I’m proud of the thousands of DREAMers who have come forward to share their stories,” Foster said in a statement. “In my district, Ana is a shining example of the American dream. DREAMers like Ana are hardworking, driven, and patriotic, so it’s unfortunate that President Trump and Republican Leadership in Congress have chosen to use them as pawns in the legislative process."

“I hope her presence will remind my colleagues to bring up the DREAM Act for a clean vote and tell President Trump why it’s so important these young people stay in the United States.”

Trump last September rescinded the Obama-era Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows certain young immigrants to work and go to school in the United States, and gave Congress until March 5 to come up with a legislative replacement.

But Congress has been bitterly divided over how to protect the roughly 700,000 program recipients, with the impasse leading to a three-day government shutdown over the weekend.

Senate Democrats agreed to reopen the government after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he intended to bring up legislation to address DACA, border security and related issues if lawmakers were not able to reach a broader deal by the next government funding deadline on Feb. 8.

But House Democrats and liberals have slammed Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his caucus for agreeing to the deal, with critics questioning whether McConnell's pledge is strong enough.

The leaders from both parties in the House and Senate are spearheading high-level, bipartisan negotiations on the issue, while a group of moderate senators is expected to meet later Wednesday to start putting together some DACA-border security proposals.

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