7 people called “Dreamers” have been on a hunger strike since last Friday in Washington DC. The Dreamers orchestrated a sit-in outside the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Carlos Curbelo, both Democrats. The group has been dubbed the “Dream 7”. They are supporting about 700,000 people under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows immigrants with children including the protesters, to stay in the U.S. without being immediately deported.
Right now, Congress is working to pass a budget bill with a deadline of this Friday, December 22nd. The bill would keep the government open and working, but it has to be passed first. For the bill to pass, it needs 60 votes. That means 52 Republicans PLUS at least 8 Democrats will have to support the bill for it to pass. The Dreamers are demanding that the Democrats block the spending bill unless it includes a new DREAM act. With this act, those covered by DACA would be protected and not deported. The Dream 7 wants Democrats to promise that they will collectively vote “No” for the spending bill if it does not include a new DACA provision.
The Dream 7 have now been arrested and are currently in police custody. They were arrested because, even though they have a right to protest, they were considered to be trespassing. The office was closed at that time so they were technically breaking and entering. The Dream 7 say the fight isn’t over. They have refused to give their names to the police and say that they are still on a hunger strike.