Local 'Dreamer' concerned after budget deal struck
Hours after President Trump signed into law a $400 billion budget there is some fear and frustration from local dreamers that an immigration solution was notably not included in the deal.
"I am concerned as a dreamer that this lengthy floor debate will actually lead to many people loosing their status, people like me,” said Rodrigo Pimentel.
Pimentel came to the U.S. at just 10 months old. In the wake of the budget vote, he has a strong message to Rhode Island's congressional delegation.
"They need to put politics aside and actually do what is right,” said Pimentel.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse emphasizes that lawmakers previously decided not to include immigration in these specific budget talks. Whitehouse tells ABC 6 News that he wants Dreamers to know lawmakers are still fighting for them.
"I know that dreamers are very impatient and concerned but I think there's very good reason to have confidence that when the Senate operates through the proper procedures that we've set up to get this issue resolved it will be a resolution that meets their needs,” said Whitehouse.
When it comes to the overall passage of the budget, Whitehouse touts the many positive impacts it will have for Rhode Islanders. Specifically Senator Whitehouse points to the fact that the deal gets rid of the so-called donut hole or the window where seniors have to pay more for prescription drugs and that the budget includes some $6 billion in funding for the opioid crisis.
"We leaned in hard to protect important Rhode Island priorities,” said Whitehouse.
Reaction from Congressman Jim Langevin also positive. Though in a statement he does acknowledge that the deal is not perfect, specifically pointing to the lack of progress for Dreamers.
“Like all compromises, this bill is not perfect. Because Republicans spent five months kicking the can down the road, we will need to pass additional legislation to fully implement this framework,” said Langevin. “This agreement also does nothing to reverse the President’s $1.5 trillion tax boondoggle, which means our national debt will continue to grow. The most glaring omission, however, is the lack of protection for the hundreds of thousands of dreamers who will be forced out of the only country they’ve ever known. I’m extremely disappointed that there has been no agreement to let the majority of House members be heard by holding a vote on the Dream Act, and I will continue to call on Speaker Paul Ryan to do so.”