News Releases

In Senate floor speech, Sen. Murray condemned the Trump Administration’s “hateful, reckless” decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA

In Washington state, termination of DACA would impact more than 17.5K Washingtonians and cost the state an estimated $1.1 billion in annual GDP

Sen. Murray: “While President Trump may see ending DACA as a political move to pander to his extreme, hardline base, I know the majority of people across this country will stand up and fight back.” 

Sen. Murray: We “will not let President Trump strip away protections or use Dreamers as a bargaining chip for his hateful crackdown on immigrants in our communities, or on wasteful border wall spending”

ICYMI: Sen. Murray, members of WA delegation send letter to President Trump urging him to immediately work with Congress to pass legislation protecting DREAMers 

***WATCH VIDEO OF SEN. MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE*** 

(Washington, D.C.) –  Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) condemned President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and vowed to work with her colleagues to defend DACA and find a permanent solution for the program’s recipients, known as DREAMers, in their home here in the United States. Approximately 800,000 individuals in the U.S., including an estimated 17,500 Washingtonians, would lose their DACA status. DREAMers in Washington state also contribute an estimated $1.1 billion in annual gross domestic product, which is at risk if Congressional Republicans do not join Democrats to protect the program. In her remarks, Sen. Murray denounced President’s Trump hateful and reckless agenda and committed to fighting against any attempts by the Trump Administration to use the DACA program as a bargaining chip to secure funding for a border wall. Sen. Murray also pledged to work with her Senate colleagues toward a permanent solution to allow DREAMers to remain in the only country they’ve ever known—America.

In addition to her floor speech, Sen. Murray and members of the Washington state delegation sent a letter to President Trump yesterday urging him to reconsider his decision to repeal DACA and make sure that Dreamers’ application information is not used for immigration enforcement. The members’ letter also called on President Trump to work with Congress to pass clean legislation to protect DREAMers.

Additionally, today Sen. Murray commended Washington state leaders for announcing the state would join a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its decision to end DACA.

Video of Sen. Murray’s floor speech available here.

Full text of Sen. Murray’s floor speech below:

M. President—some 800,000 people in this country woke up this morning with great uncertainty about their future. 

Because of President Trump’s reckless, hateful agenda—young men and women in this country are now unsure if they’ll be able to finish college or complete job training programs.

They’re unsure if they can keep their job at a hospital or as a firefighter, or serve in our military to fight for our freedoms.

They’re unsure if they can keep their home or remain with loved ones.

And they are scared that this country might break its promise and use against them the very information they submitted to enroll in DACA—to find them and deport them.

M. President, this is appalling—and it marks a very sad time for this United States of America.

President Trump has caused a lot of divisive and disheartening moments since the start of the year—

…but rescinding DACA is an unusually cruel and heartless move, even for this Administration.

And it flies in the face of so much of what—and who-- made this country what it is.

So I am here today to urge all of us in the Senate to use this moment of uncertainty and division to do what’s right—come together to defend DACA.

Use your voice for the Dreamers in your state and the many others who are calling, writing, and marching in the streets—

…urging all of us to act for our neighbors, our coworkers, our students, our doctors, our engineers, our friends, and our first responders, who are stepping up at this very moment to protect people – from hurricanes wreaking havoc in Texas and Florida, to the wildfires blazing in the West.

Let’s stand behind our colleagues, Senator Durbin and Senator Graham, who have already paved a bipartisan path forward on this issue and who—just hour after the President’s announcement—reiterated that they are ready to get this done.

I am too.

M. President, there are more than 17,000 young men and women in my home state of Washington who are deeply connected to their communities.

They were brought to this country as children.

Some of them were so young when they arrived, they didn’t even know they weren’t born here until years, or even a decade later, when they went to apply for college or get a first job.

Just yesterday, I heard about a young man in my home state who is distraught.

He was brought to the U.S. as a toddler.

He didn’t know he wasn’t a citizen until he turned 16 when he went to get his driver’s license.

As a result, he signed up for DACA, got his license and a job, and is now in his second year in a science program at a community college, getting straight A’s and hoping to transfer to the University of Washington.

Now, he is frightened he will lose all of that and be forced to go to a country he’s never known. 

He says he doesn’t know anyone in Mexico, nor has he been there to visit.

And that’s just one story.

I’ve sat down with a number of Dreamers in my state.

They are ambitious, they work hard, they play by the rules, and they do the right thing.

They know one home—America.

And to penalize them for forces beyond their control is simply not what this country is about.

So while President Trump may see ending DACA as a political move to pander to his extreme, hardline base, I know the majority of people across this country will stand up and fight back.

They will not let President Trump strip away protections or use Dreamers as a bargaining chip for his hateful crackdown on immigrants in our communities, or on wasteful border wall spending.

And as a voice in Congress for my state, I stand ready to work with my colleagues – on either side of the aisle – to find a solution to honor the 800,000 DREAMers who call America home, and to honor the very foundation of our immigrant nation.

Thank you, I yield the floor.