Statement ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
March 8, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) engaged in a colloquy on the House Floor today with Majority Leader McCarthy and called on House Republicans to bring legislation to the Floor to protect DREAMers as well as legislation to require universal background checks for gun purchases. Below is a link to the video and excerpts of the remarks.

Click here to watch the full remarks.
“I have talked to the Speaker, and I have brought it up continuously on this Floor, and I’ve been told by the Republican leadership, don't worry, we’ve got until March 5 to do something. I was told that in October. I was told it in November. I was told it in December. I was told it in January. I was told it in February. Don't worry, we’ve  got until March 5. March 5 came and went. No action. None. That DREAMer to whom the Speaker spoke [to at the CNN town hall] is still at risk, still worried, still twisting in the wind. Eighty-six percent of the American public, Mr. Speaker, says that young woman should not be kicked out of the country that she knows. [DREAMers were] brought here as a children, went to elementary school, middle school, high school, some to college, some practicing medicine, some practicing law, some being social workers, many being teachers. I was told, don't worry. They were told, don't worry. March 5 is a long way away. It has come and gone…”

“[Democrats] have asked, Mr. Speaker, that the Majority party put on the Floor three bills on an issue of vital importance to the American people, that every American knows about, that the People's House ought to have the right to speak on and express the views of the American people and establish policy they support, 86% of them. So I will again ask the Majority Leader, Mr. Speaker, to put the DREAM Act on the Floor. Put Mr. Goodlatte's bill on the Floor. Put the bipartisan bill sponsored by Mr. Hurd of Texas and Mr. Aguilar of California, put them on the Floor... The Speaker said you want to take the issues head-on, Mr. Speaker, not duck. Show some political courage, and not only that, but respect this institution and every Member in it who wants to express their opinion on this legislation.”

“The problem is, they know the Hurd-Aguilar bill would pass, which would reflect the views of 86% of the American people.”

“Mr. Speaker, we have been urging and pleading for [the Thompson-King bill to require universal background checks] to be brought to the Floor over and over and over again. The National Rifle Association is not for that bill. I can't understand why. Rather, we bring a bill to the Floor that will help schools, I think that's positive, do what they can do right now. Should we help them? Of course. But we ought not to pretend that we're doing something to make our children safer in their schools; to make concertgoers safer at their concerts; to make churchgoers safer in their church; to make people who go to a nightclub safer in that nightclub; to make people who go to shopping centers safer while shopping. We ought not to pretend the Rutherford bill is going to do that.”

"Mr. Speaker, they are not taking the tough issues head on. They are hiding from the NRA. They are hiding from some of their hard-line people who want to kick people out of America. That want to take that lamp that the Statue of Liberty holds high and bring it down. Yes, I'm disappointed; yes, I'm angry; yes, I'm frustrated. I came to this body to express my opinion on the important issues confronting my country and trying to make it it better." 

"Let the House vote. I know that there's some Republicans who don't want to vote on that bill because the public is so overwhelmingly for it and they may upset the NRA. That's what this business is about, Mr. Speaker. Expressing openly and clearly what we think the policies of our country ought to be to make our public better, to make our country safer.”