August Recess Toolkit: Immigration

With little to show by way of legislative accomplishments since taking office, Donald Trump is running back to the issue that jump-started his political career: demonizing and scapegoating immigrants and refugees. What started out as talk to “build the wall” at campaign rallies has developed into a multi-pronged effort by Trump’s White House and his allies in Congress to criminalize, jail, and deport more immigrants and asylum seekers with less regard for their circumstances than ever. In Donald Trump’s America, every immigrant is a criminal and deportable.

What to Watch For in Congress on Immigration

Protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program protects immigrants who came to the US as children, often called “DREAMers,” but is now under threat from Trump’s White House. Congress needs to act immediately to secure the futures of the “DREAMers” who were raised here in the US and could face deportation. Tell your MoCs to co-sponsor  S. 1615  and H.R. 3591.

Defund Trump’s Mass Deportation Machine. Both chambers of Congress are considering Trump’s request for billions of dollars to fund the walls, boots and detention beds that fuel his deportation machine. Your MoC should vote to #DefundHate at every stage of the appropriations process this Fall.

Congress can halt Trump’s Muslim ban. Ending Trump’s Muslim Ban isn’t just up to the courts, Congress can and should take legislative action against Trump’s discriminatory orders with H.R. 1503, S. 608, and S. 549.

Sanctuary Cities are the last line of defense against Trump. The House passed a bill that would penalize your local law enforcement agencies for not doing the bidding of Trump’s federal deportation force. Now it’s up to the Senate to make sure that H.R. 3003 or any bill that punishes Sanctuary Cities never goes to Trump’s desk to become law.

Stop the criminalization and mass incarceration of immigrants. Trump’s nativist friends in Congress are still using the tragic death of Kate Steinle to justify their agenda to criminalize all immigrants and pump more of your tax dollars into private prisons. “Kate’s law” (H.R. 3004) has passed the House—now your Senators need to make sure this harmful proposal fails like it has in years past.

Support Local Immigrant Rights Groups this Recess

This August recess, it is crucial that your three representatives in Congress hear from those affected by Trump’s draconian immigration agenda, and from their allies. The most effective way to speak to these issues is to elevate leaders and members of your Indivisible group who are most directly affected by Trump’s immigration actions. Also, if your group has taken the step of reaching out to local immigrant rights organizations and supported their campaigns, recess events are a good opportunity to strengthen those partnerships by inviting your front-line immigrant defense allies to join your at town halls and recess events.

Sample Town Hall Questions

Tell Your MoCs to Protect DACAmented Youth

President Obama created a program called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) offering relief from deportation to immigrant kids who came to the U.S. as children. Now nearly a million young immigrants enrolled in the program are in Trump’s hands, and it’s very likely he will either end the program or be forced to end it by a lawsuit from a few states by September 5th. What are you doing in Congress make sure [our future / the future of these Americans] is permanently protected from Trump’s deportation force?

For Senate: Will you commit to me today that you will cosponsor the bipartisan Durbin-Graham “DREAM Act” (S. 1615) to create a legislative fix to the predicament of these young Americans, and take their future out of Trump’s hands?

For House: Will you commit to me today that you will co-sponsor Rep. Gutierrez’s American Hope Act (H.R. 3591) to give those with DACA and others who arrived in the United States as children a path to permanent legal status and eventual citizenship?

Tell Your MoC to Defund Hate

For House: At the end of July, the House approved $1.6 billion to start building Trump’s border wall. Paul Ryan knew that a he didn’t have the votes to pass the wall money on its own, so he snuck it into a must-pass bill that funds the whole military (H.R. 3219). Did you stand up to Paul Ryan to tell him we deserve a clean vote on sending money to Trump for his wall? How can [you / they] support sending billions in new money to Trump’s wall when [you / they] voted to CUT funding for essential programs like Medicaid?

For House and Senate: For [me / my family / immigrants in our state], the wall is not the part of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that would do the most damage—Trump is asking Congress for 10,000 new deportation agents and billions of dollars to jail, remove and split up immigrant families. This type of funding would serve to terrorize our immigrant neighbors, split up families, and erode trust between immigrants and law enforcement, which makes our communities less safe. Will you commit to me today that you will NOT support any spending bill that adds money to Trump’s deportation machine?


I want to hear what you are doing to oppose Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban. [Share personal story if applicable.] The Supreme Court is going to hear oral arguments about Trump’s Executive Orders to discriminate against immigrants based on their religious background, but you don’t have to wait until then to act. Congress has the power to nullify Trump’s orders through legislation

For House: If you are opposed to Trump’s actions like I am, will you co-sponsor H.R.1503 (the SOLVE Act) to rescind the Muslim Ban and prohibit any funding for enforcement of the Muslim Ban.

For Senate: If you are opposed to Trump’s action like I am, will you co-sponsor S. 608, which would rescind the Muslim Ban, and S. 549, which would withhold funding for the Muslim Ban?


For Senate: Donald Trump gave a speech in New York last month saying he wants to go after gangs like MS-13, but in reality he is using federal agents to detain and deport unaccompanied youth, refugees, and even victims of human trafficking. The House recently passed a bill designed to put more immigrants in the crosshairs of federal enforcement and ensure that they spend more time in private prisons. Will you commit to me today that you will NOT vote to approve HR3004 if it gets a vote in the Senate? Will you oppose any bill that criminalizes immigrants, puts asylum seekers at risk of incarceration, and hurts families [like mine] while benefiting private prison corporations?


For the latest resources on resisting Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, visit