Sarsour: We Will Primary Democrats Who Didn’t Fight for ‘Dreamers’

Linda Sarsour (C) and fellow gun-control activists / Getty Images

Linda Sarsour, co-organizer of the National Women's March, is willing to oppose any Democrats who take a budget deal that does not provide legal status for young illegal immigrants.

Immigration activists and liberal leaders came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to pressure Democrats to provide legal status to young illegal immigrants by passing the Dream Act, the Associated Press reports. Sarsour spoke at the National Day of Action for the Dream Act and said Democrats don’t have her loyalty if they don’t stand up for her "undocumented family."

"I’m not a loyal Democrat," Sarsour said. "We will be joining primaries this year and we will primary Democrats who did not have the spine or the courage to stand up for our undocumented family."

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Sarsour has previously argued that women's issues are inextricably linked to protecting illegal immigrants. After this year's Women's March in January, she said she and others "marched today for Dreamers."

She has drawn a hard line in the past, demanding in December that Democrats pass a "clean Dream Act" by Christmas. And she is not the only one questioning Democrats who would take a budget deal with Republicans without obtaining amnesty for a significant portion of the illegal immigrant population.

Angel Padilla, policy director for the liberal group Indivisible, said Democrats are giving up leverage by compromising with Republicans. Congressional leaders released a budget deal Wednesday that paid for most major Republican and Democratic priorities, but it did not provide for so-called Dreamers.

"What are they thinking? They’re giving up their leverage," Padilla said. "All of these votes will matter come November."

Pelosi has agitated for protecting Dreamers, although many at the rally doubted the value of Pelosi’s extended speech on the House floor. Some Democrats have expressed also doubts about whether the party is doing enough on the immigration issue.

"It’s not being made a priority," Rep. Nanette Barragan (D., Calif.) said of the party’s push to protect DACA recipients. "It’s a mistake to not use every leverage point we have."

Sarsour, a prominent anti-Israel activist, has taken up a variety of left-wing issues without a great deal of popular support. In January she endorsed convicted military leaker Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate in Maryland.