U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement in response to the immigration amendments considered in the Senate today. Harris supported the "Coons-McCain" proposal and opposed "King-Rounds.":
"California is home to more Dreamers than any other state, and these 220,000 young people represent the very best of who we are as a nation. They attend our colleges, are entrepreneurs and work in our businesses, and serve in our military. From my first day in office, I have fought to ensure that these Dreamers have the security they need to live up to their full potential.
"These young people are currently terrified that they will be taken from their families and homes -- and the only reason we're in this situation is because this Administration arbitrarily and callously ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September. Since then, approximately 19,000 DACA youth have lost status. Put simply, the White House created this crisis and has worked at every turn to sabotage Congress' efforts to resolve it.
"I was proud to support the bipartisan Coons-McCain measure to protect Dreamers from deportation and provide them a path to citizenship. While my preference has always been a clean DREAM Act, this measure included reasonable border and port security provisions that I could support. And although not perfect, it is progress, and had a bipartisan companion in the House that could be voted on immediately.
"And while I applaud the work of my colleagues on the King-Rounds proposal, as a senator from the state with the largest documented and undocumented immigrant population, I could not in good conscience support it.
"While this bill would put Dreamers on a pathway toward citizenship, the appropriation of $25 billion for a border wall is a waste of taxpayer money. A wall will not secure our border and I remain concerned those billions of dollars may also be used to implement this Administration's anti-immigrant agenda -- one that targets California and its residents.
"I recognize that my colleagues faced the impossible challenge of crafting a bill that could meet the White House's unreasonable and ever-shifting demands. But regrettably this bill is simply not the answer. I will continue to work with them to fight for Dreamers and the rest of the 9 million undocumented immigrants in our country. It's the right thing to do."