U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich delivered a speech on the Senate floor yesterday urging Senate Republicans to pass a clean appropriations bill to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The House-passed DHS funding bill includes a number of anti-immigrant provisions, including deporting DREAMers, which Republicans know cannot pass the U.S. Senate and would be vetoed by the president. Funding for DHS is set to expire on February 27.
“With threats emerging everyday both at home and abroad, casting doubt on future funding for the Department of Homeland Security is a terrible idea,” said Sen. Heinrich in his remarks. “A DHS shutdown would threaten public safety, it would hinder interstate commerce, hurt our economy, and jeopardize critical funding for state, local, and tribal government activities.”
In his speech, Senator Heinrich told the story of an Albuquerque DREAMer named Yuri who is currently studying chemical engineering at the University of New Mexico. He said in his speech, “I’ve met many DREAMers over the past ten years in New Mexico. They are smart, they’re hardworking, and most of them don’t know how to be anything but an American. They grew up here and they want to give back.”
Homeland security funding supports DHS and its related agencies, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, among others.