Democratic leaders are siding with Dreamers and future immigrants in their border battle with President Trump, even in the face of Republican taunts that by doing so, Democrats are betraying the interests of U.S. voters in favor of non-citizens.
This week's three-day shutdown finally ended when Senate Republicans agreed to push for a broad immigration deal, and said they would agree to a vote by Feb. 8 on a standalone bill to protect the Dreamers if no agreement were in sight.
Democrats have pushed for years to help the Dreamers, immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. But after the shutdown was averted, some Republicans accused Democrats of choosing to stiff U.S. citizens of government services, in order to boost the fortunes of non-citizens.
"They'd rather shut down children's health insurance and military funding to give illegal immigrants amnesty," Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa. tweeted.
But rather than shy away from their support of Dreamers, Democrats have made a point of stressing it even more since the shutdown ended.
Symbolically, some Democrats have decided to put up new graphics in support of Dreamers on their Twitter pages. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for example, put up a new banner that says, "I stand with Dreamers."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., turned the top of her Senate homepage into a warning that more than 100 Dreamers "will lose their DACA protection each day that Congress fails to pass the #DreamAct."
Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill., made a point of meeting with Dreamers last week, and said he's "honored to stand side-by-side with them and to keep fighting for their American dream."
But beyond mere graphics and demonstrations, Democrats have made it clear they oppose a new Trump administration proposal to settle the immigration fight that the White House offered Thursday, because it goes too far in shutting down immigration.
The White House said it was willing to legalize 1.8 million Dreamers, as long as funding is made available for a border wall, and the visa lottery and family chain migration are ended.
Democratic leaders made it clear that despite the concessions the White House was offering, they would have to oppose its initial deal because of the reduction in future immigration limits. Many even went further, by saying those limits are racist, and reflect President Trump's racism.
"The 50 percent cut to legal immigration in the framework and the recent announcements to end Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans and Haitians are both part of the same cruel agenda," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday. "They are part of the Trump Administration’s unmistakable campaign to make America white again."
She said Trump's proposal was an act of "staggering cowardice which attempts to hold the DREAMers hostage to a hateful anti-immigrant scheme."
And in his own statement Friday, Schumer agreed with Pelosi that Trump's offer goes too far and would "tear apart our legal immigration system."
"While @realDonaldTrump finally acknowledged that the Dreamers should be allowed to stay here and become citizens, he uses them as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish list that anti-immigration hardliners have advocated for for years," Schumer said.