On September 5th President Trump issued an Executive Order shutting down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program. DACA creates a legal framework to work, serve in the military and attend schools for people who came to the US as children and have grown up here. The more than 800,000 DACA recipients (aka Dreamers) and their families are waiting for Congress to act, but Sunday night the White House announced a set of “negotiating principles” which incorporate a broad wish list of hard line anti-immigration demands. These “negotiating principles” make any bipartisan action impossible.
Instead of addressing a clean DREAM Act, the hardliners in the White House are preparing a broad immigration wish-list they intend to demand in exchange for signing legislation to resolve the DACA crisis. This effort is being led by White House aide Stephen Miller, a fervent immigration opponent, whose views are fairly described as white nationalist.
At this point it is unclear how committed the President is to this new list of demands. Trump’s press secretary explicitly declined to say Trump would veto nor has Trump communicated with the Democrats in Congress with whom he had been negotiating.
The administration’s new demands would dramatically reduce legal immigration rates, require funding for Trump’s wall on the Mexico border, impose a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors fleeing gang violence and curb federal funding to sanctuary cities. Immigration opponents also want an overhaul of the green card system to prevent extended family members, including siblings and adult children, from joining permanent residents in the United States.
As much as we would like to advocate for Congress to pass a “clean” DREAM Act not tied to other legislative agenda items, that now seems unrealistic. Compromise will be required in order to pass DACA legislation. It most likely will need to include a broader package that increases border security WITHOUT building Trump’s ill-conceived wall. There is a swarm of legislative proposals related to DACA and other immigration issues in Congress at the moment. For more information we recommend that you go here.
Call To Action
Call ALL your Members of Congress and tell them:
- Please support realistic efforts to pass the 2017 Dream Act NOW. Tell them you accept that a compromise involving enhanced border security is a political reality, but to never support Trump’s wall or to allow broader actions restricting our current immigration laws to be tied to DACA. Encourage them to support comprehensive, humane, and enlightened immigration reform. Remind them of this nation’s history as a haven for immigrants and how immigration makes us stronger and more productive.
- Thank your Members of Congress who have taken a compassionate stand on DACA and the Dreamers.