Recently, Donald Trump announced that he would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program with a six-month delay. The Obama-era program, commonly called DACA, protects immigrants who arrived in the country as children from deportation. In follow-up comments and tweets, Trump said that he added the six-month delay in order to give Congress time to come up with a legislative solution to the problem as Trump, and many other Republicans, argue that the DACA program, which was issued by executive order, was unconstitutional.
As of right now, it’s unclear what Congress intends to do about DACA, and the answer may not be coming anytime soon. It has been reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee has decided to postpone the DACA hearing that was set for Wednesday. Chuck Grassley(R-Iowa) said that hearing was delayed in order to deal with the hurricanes that have hit Texas and Florida.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 11, 2017
While Grassley did not say when the hearing would occur, it is logical to assume that something will happen before Trump’s six month window expires, especially since he has said that if Congress does not act then he will revisit the issue. However, we do not know what Congress intends to do about the DACA program.
One of the possible solutions is the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to legal residency and eventual citizenship for those who qualify for the program. The DREAM act has been proposed several times, but, despite bipartisan support, has not gathered enough votes to pass. The most recent version of the bill would couple the DREAM act to tighter border security which might make the law more appealing to some moderate conservatives. However, it remains to be seen how the hardliners, such as the House Freedom Caucus, will vote on such a bill. As with healthcare reform, the GOP’s attempt to craft an immigration bill may fall victim to its far-right wing. Unfortunately, the consequences of non-action could mean deportation for nearly 800,000 people.
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