MEDIA ADVISORY: Curbelo To Show Support for Dreamers at FWD.us Press Conference Despite Durbin’s Objection, Will Be Available for Media After

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Washington, D.C., October 4, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments
Despite earlier objections from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), today, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) will attend a press conference by FWD.us and Senators Durbin and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to show support for DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, who will be flying to Washington to ask Congress for a permanent solution to their situation.

As outlined in a report by The Hill, FWD.us initially invited Curbelo to speak at the press conference about his Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, a permanent and bipartisan legislative solution that provides young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents three possible pathways to legal status. Shortly after, Curbelo was asked not to attend following Durbin’s threat not to participate if Curbelo was included. Democrats and progressive advocacy groups have actively campaigned to stifle Democratic support for the Curbelo-introduced RAC Act, despite Curbelo’s RAC Act legalizing at least 700,000 more young immigrants than the version of the DREAM Act passed by the Democrat-controlled House in 2010 and its use of the same mechanism for legalization. The RAC Act was the first piece of legislation filed this Congress to afford Dreamers a permanent solution and closely tracks President Obama’s DACA executive order. 

The press conference and Curbelo’s availability will be live-streamed on Curbelo’s Facebook page here.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Curbelo To Show Support for Dreamers at FWD.us Press Conference Despite Durbin’s Objection, Will Be Available for Media After
Approximately 2:00 p.m. ET
Senate Swamp, Outside United States Capitol


GOP lawmaker says Dem got him booted from immigration event
The Hill
By Scott Wong
October 3, 2017

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) threatened to back out of a pro-immigration news conference on Wednesday unless Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) was disinvited, Curbelo told The Hill on Tuesday.

FWD.us, a pro-immigration reform advocacy group led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, had originally invited Curbelo, a Cuban American lawmaker from Miami, to attend a news conference with Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The senators are pushing legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

But Curbelo said his office was later told that Durbin had vowed to pull out of the event unless Curbelo’s invitation was rescinded, a charge vehemently denied by Durbin’s office.

“Senator Durbin asked FWD.us to withdraw the invitation for me to partake in tomorrow's press conference, threatening to cancel his own participation if his demands weren't met,” Curbelo told The Hill in an interview.

“I hope this isn't true because although I don't know Sen. Durbin, I believe his intention is to build bipartisan support for Dreamers,” the congressman continued. “Attempting to exclude someone with a long history of supporting Dreamers is petty, counterproductive, and selfish.”

Curbelo was still set to attend the Wednesday afternoon news conference as recently as Tuesday afternoon. He tweeted at 11 a.m.: “Look forward to joining @FWD_us & my colleagues from both parties tomorrow to support #Dreamers. They are America's children!”

Two hours later, FWD replied to Curbelo in a tweet: “Thank you Representative @carloslcurbelo for taking action to stand #withDreamers! We're looking forward to tomorrow!”

Durbin and Graham are co-authors of the DREAM Act, which would offer DACA recipients legal permanent status and ultimately American citizenship.

Curbelo, a top Democratic target in 2018, has not co-sponsored the DREAM Act.

Instead, he has authored an alternative bill to deal with the recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Curbelo’s Recognizing America's Children (RAC) Act is similar to the Dream Act, but would protect a slightly lower number of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Both the Dream Act and the bill from Curbelo would provide a work permit, legal residence and an eventual pathway to citizenship to the Dreamers.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, the RAC Act would immediately protect 938,000 Dreamers, while the current version of the Dream Act would protect 1.5 million.

The press conference flap comes a month after President Trump said he was ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the country illegally as children.

Trump gave Congress six months to come up with a solution for these individuals.

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