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House Dems Sing DREAM Act Christmas Carols Outside Capitol

Demonstrators sit on the Senate steps during an immigration rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — Young immigrants urging Congress to pass a DREAM Act before leaving for the holidays rallied outside the Capitol Monday evening while members of the Democratic caucus joined in singing Christmas carols retooled to reflect the immigration debate.

“I have one: oh the leadership inside is frightful… let them stay, let them stay, let them stay,” offered House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). “I write songs on the side, you just found out why I do it on the side, and not as a real job.”

Hoyer told the crowd “we’re not going to give up” on a fix for the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “until this is done.”

“I’ve been urging, and I don’t know how many of you may have seen the colloquy I had on the floor for an hour and twenty minutes, and I talked about the fact that House Republicans were leaving an awful lot of very real, American young people twisting in the wind,” he said.

“But I want you to be assured: I just left Leader Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership Steering Committee, 50 of us, and what we were talking about was DREAMers. And so I want you to know that your presence here makes a difference as well. Because the more they hear from outside, the better they will be inside…. We’re going to ensure that DREAMers are in fact protected.”

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) was elected to sing “DREAMers are Coming to Town”:

The carols included a spin on “Deck the Halls”:

DACA calls now for replacing, fa la la la…
Legal dangers we are facing, fa la la la…
We have to come to plead in chorus, fa la la la…
Make a path to green cards for us, fa la la la…

Here we are with no vacation, fa la la la…
Coming from across the nation, fa la la la…
For a clean DREAM Act we’re fending, fa la la la…
Please attach to bill on spending, fa la la la…

“We have to get this done in December,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) told the crowd. “Our leverage is in December. So we need to do everything possible to make sure that it happens before we leave for the holiday break.”

“I won’t support any spending bill” that doesn’t include a DACA fix, Castro said, “and I hope my colleagues will share that sentiment that we need to take care of this now.”

House Republican leadership has indicated they want a DACA fix, but noted that beneficiaries under the phased-out program aren’t at risk of deportation until March. The Trump administration has also indicated that deadline could be extended if legislators are still working out a deal.