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Immigrant activists aren’t buying Sen. Bill Nelson’s optimism

Say Mitch McConnell cannot be trusted. Then there's the House.
A 'Dreamer' at a rally in Dallas. (Associated Press)
A 'Dreamer' at a rally in Dallas. (Associated Press)
Published Jan. 23, 2018
Updated Jan. 23, 2018

WASHINGTON – Immigrant activists on Tuesday continued to express fury at Senate Democrats, including Bill Nelson, for abandoning the shutdown.

"We are angry and disappointed by the cowardice Senate Democrats have shown in giving up their leverage based on assurances by GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has proven himself over and over again to negotiate in bad faith," said Maria Rodriguez, executive director of Florida Immigrant Coalition.

"They are ignoring the 83 percent of Americans who want Dreamers to stay in this country. The White House keeps moving the goalpost in the Dream Act negotiations out of reach as they pursue their true goal — ending all immigration from countries they deem unworthy. When backing down, Senate Democrats have unfortunately left the fate of immigrants uncertain and the future of Dreamers in doubt."

Nelson, relieved GOP attacks against him could not grow, said Monday he has confidence the Senate can pass a legislative version of DACA and that will put pressure on the more conservative House. But skepticism abounds and House leaders have signaled they aren't eager to rush something through.

"March is really the timeline," House Majority Whip Steve Scalise told Politico. "The House wasn't part of that deal."

There are more than 30,000 DACA recipients in Florida.