LOS ANGELES – The Washington Post today reported that Trump administration officials threatened to shut down the federal government last month over a dispute about a provision in a year-end spending bill that would have allowed immigrants who are authorized to work under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to obtain jobs on Capitol Hill.

DACA was initiated in 2012 and grants deferred action, or protection from deportation, and work authorization to nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued the following statement in response to the administration’s stance:

“Threatening to shut down the government solely to deny a handful of work-authorized DACA recipients the opportunity to work on Capitol Hill can only be characterized as brutish and small-minded.  Donald Trump’s veto threat also further demonstrates petty corruption – an official act undertaken in order to avoid exposing the lies behind his ongoing demonization of all immigrants, including particularly the patriotic young Americans raised here though born elsewhere.  The now-revealed hard line established by this administration also demonstrates how thoroughly white supremacist ideology and anti-Latino racism have permeated this White House.  What a shameful way to begin 2020.”