Hispanic Caucus Confronts Schumer For Neglecting Dreamers In Spending Bill

Jack Crowe | Political Reporter

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus chastised Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Thursday in a private meeting for failing to address the fate of so-called Dreamers in a short term spending bill that passed the Senate Friday.

In a dramatic display of growing tensions surrounding immigration policy within the party, the 31-member caucus arrived at Schumer’s office with very little notice to confront him shortly before the upper chamber voted on the short term spending bill. The bill passed the House and Senate Thursday, absent a provision addressing the fate of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

The Hispanic lawmakers reportedly urged Schumer to lobby Senate Democrats facing re-election in conservative states who were unwilling to risk triggering a government shutdown at midnight Friday by taking a stand over immigration policy.

Most lawmakers maintained a respectful demeanor when addressing Schumer, while Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois launched into a personal tirade, accusing Schumer and Democratic leadership of disregarding Dreamers and “throwing them under the bus,” sources present for the conversation told The Washington Post.

Gutierrez, who has been arrested at multiple immigration-related protests, told Schumer “don’t raise your voice” after Schumer angrily instructed him not to insult fellow Democrats.

Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas of California reportedly told Schumer “no more mananas,” explaining that the party has failed to live up to its commitments made to the Hispanic Caucus on immigration.

“We understand the anxiety of the Hispanic caucus and share their anguish on this issue. We’re going to do everything we can to get the Dream Act done,” Schumer said in a statement.

Gutierrez followed up the meeting with a tweet, indicating that the party is united on a plan to move forward with immigration policy.

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