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DACA Update Post Shutdown

by Countable | 1.23.18

What’s the story?

The major issue leading up to this last week’s government shutdown was the fate of the so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who were protected from deportation by DACA. Democrats seemed poised to hold out for a "clean" DACA bill, but now have compromised on a three week continuing resolution.

Now that the Senate has agreed to this three week extension, what exactly is the status of the Dreamers and DACA negotiations?

As things stand, DACA is still in place until March. A judge recently ruled that the federal government had to allow recipients of DACA to re-apply for deportation protection, but on average, according to reports, 122 DACA recipients lose their status daily.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has committed to further negotiations on immigration, including protection for Dreamers, funding for border security and related issues, before the new continuing resolution expires.

He did not explicitly promise a floor vote on the issue, though he has expressed a preference for bipartisan, bicameral legislation that could pass both houses of Congress without having to go to conference to be reconciled.

If the Senate cannot come to an "global agreement" on immigration that includes protections for Dreamers by the February 8 deadline, McConnell has agreed to allow votes on existing DACA bills to proceed to the floor for a vote.

The Senate bills that have been introduced to extend protections to Dreamers include the DREAM Act, introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and the more conservative SECURE Act, introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

In the House there are also two bills, the Recognizing America’s Children Act, introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and the Securing America’s Future Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Without extensive revisions neither Senate bill is likely to pass the House, so no specific guarantees exist for Dreamers at this point.

What do you think?

Did Democrats do the right thing today by agreeing to the three week extension? Should there be a ‘clean’ DACA bill, or should other immigration issues be included in any legislation?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Pax Ahimsa Getten via Wikipedia / Creative Commons)

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