UPDATE (01/22): After a 3-day government shutdown, the Senate has agreed on a path forward for a legislative fix for DACA recipients. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has promised to work to pass a bill by early February. The new CR ends on February 8th.
In September, Trump rescinded DACA, threatening over 800,000 undocumented young people with deportation. The declaration gave Congress until March of 2018 to pass a legislative fix or equivalent to DACA, or else those currently protected would face rapid deportation. The most robust legislative fix is the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill originally drafted in 2001 that not only provides protection and work permits to roughly a million undocumented immigrants but also a path to legal citizenship.
Despite the momentum building on both sides of the aisle to swiftly pass the DREAM Act, Trump introduced a list of expensive and punitive demands that must be coupled to approval of the DREAM Act or any similar DACA protection. This includes full funding for his campaign-promised border wall, hiring of 10,000 more immigration agents, expedited deportations of asylum seekers, and withholding of federal funding from sanctuary cities. Though Democrat leadership has held firm against these egregious political demands, any new negotiations on what should and should not be included in a DREAM Act approval could delay or even derail its passage, putting the future well-being of thousands of young people at risk.
While border security is important, it is unacceptable to use the lives of our undocumented family and community members as a bargaining chip to for political gains. Congress must pass a clean DREAM Act with no concessions to Trump’s unnecessary demands.
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