Tag Archives: &#039Dreamers&#039

Trump knocks down bipartisan 'Dreamers' proposal, calling it a 'total waste of time'

A bipartisan immigration proposal surfaced Monday in the U.S. Senate, only to be quickly knocked down by President Donald Trump via Twitter.

Firing back, one senator who was pushing the narrowly focused compromise said Trump’s “unconstructive engagement” has hurt congressional efforts to strike a broader deal.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said they were proposing legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status — potentially including citizenship — for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children, known as “Dreamers.”

It would also require the government to strengthen border security by 2020, but stops short of specifically providing the $ 25 billion Trump wants for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Dems seem not to care about DACA. Make a deal!” Trump tweeted.

‘Most divisive and difficult’ of proposals

The “Dreamers” have been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created by former President Barack Obama. Trump has said he’s terminating the program but given Congress until March 5 to renew it, though a federal judge’s temporary order preserving DACA has left that deadline’s impact murky.

Trump has proposed offering a route to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young immigrants. He would also limit legal immigration by reducing the relatives they can sponsor for citizenship and eliminating a lottery that provides visas to people from diverse places, including Africa.

In a conference call with reporters, Coons said tackling a wider bill has “gotten more politically complicated” because of Trump’s “unconstructive engagement on immigration.” Coons said he was referring to Trump comments at a White House meeting last month at which he used a vulgarity to described African nations.

Coons said Trump’s push to limit legal immigration based on families is the “most divisive and difficult” of his proposals.

A road to legal status, proponents say

Coons said he believed his plan with McCain would protect around 1.8 million to 2 million young immigrants. It would create a road to legal status for “Dreamers” who arrived in the U.S. by the end of 2013 and meet other criteria, including no convictions for serious crimes.

Once they’ve become lawful permanent residents, they can follow existing procedures to apply for citizenship. 

It was being unveiled days before the Senate plans to begin debating immigration legislation, a battle that faces an uncertain outcome in a politically polarized climate. It remains unclear what measure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will use to commence debate and what amendments will be offered.

Trump Immigration

Trump said last September that he was ending the DACA program, complaining that Obama had overstepped his legal authority in creating it. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

Coons said his bipartisan plan could serve as a starting point and was open to adding border security money. McCain has been in Arizona being treated for cancer and was not on the conference call. 

Trump said last September that he was ending the DACA program, complaining that Obama had overstepped his legal authority in creating it. 

Narrow bill may be likeliest outcome

But while his 2016 election campaign was laced with anti-immigrant remarks, he’s expressed sympathy for the “Dreamers” and he gave Congress until March 5 to pass legislation protecting them.

Democrats and some Republicans want to give “Dreamers” a pathway to citizenship, but oppose cuts Trump would take to the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter the U.S.

Conservatives oppose letting “Dreamers” become citizens.

That stalemate has led many to believe the likeliest outcome is a narrowly focused bill or even no legislation at all. Some senators have discussed a potential compromise extending DACA protections and financing border security for one year.

The senators’ proposal is similar to a bipartisan House package by Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Pete Aguilar, D-Calif. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

U.S. senators say they've reached agreement to protect 'Dreamers'

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators reached a tentative agreement Thursday on legislation to protect young “Dreamer” immigrants from deportation, along with other immigration policy changes, and is attempting to build support for the deal in Congress.

The senators, three Democrats and three Republicans, “have reached an agreement in principle that addresses border security, the diversity visa lottery, chain migration/family reunification and the Dream Act,” they wrote in a statement.

“We are now working to build support for that deal in Congress.”

Details of the plan were not immediately available.

The significance of their agreement was initially unclear. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Thursday no deal has been reached and said the White House would keep working toward an agreement.

The six senators are Democrats Dick Durbin, Michael Bennet and Robert Menendez, and Republicans Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake and Cory Gardner.

The proposal was to be presented to the White House for U.S. President Donald Trump’s consideration before seeking passage in the Senate and House of Representatives.

At a White House meeting two days ago with a large group of lawmakers, Trump said he would accept whatever legislation Congress presents him. But conservatives have been pressing him to stand behind their efforts to curtail new immigration.

Immigration Democrats

Cristina Jimenez. centre, urges Democrats to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, during a rally outside the office of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Los Angeles, Wednesday. (Reed Saxon/Associated Press)

The Senate group has been working for months in hopes of crafting legislation that would prevent the around 750,000 illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children — known as Dreamers — from being subject to deportation after Trump ended a program providing them with temporary legal status and work permits.

Without action by Congress, the Dreamers, who are largely from Mexico and Central American countries, could be subject to deportation beginning in early March.

Senate negotiators were trying to get legislation assembled by next week so it could possibly be attached to a spending bill that Congress will have to pass to avoid government shutdowns after Jan. 19. A thicket of controversial provisions has been under discussion, according to lawmakers, congressional aides and immigration experts outside of government.

For example, Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar said in a brief interview on Wednesday that the legislation should include protections from deportation for parents of Dreamers. Many conservatives would balk at providing “amnesty” to parents who brought their families across the border illegally.

One possible compromise, according to congressional aides, could be to let these parents receive temporary legal status that could be renewed every three years. But unlike their children, the parents would never be placed on a pathway to citizenship. That could anger Dreamers and Hispanic groups who have long railed against creating a “second-class” category of people in the United States.

End to lottery system?

Also under consideration, according to congressional aides, is a plan to restructure the “diversity” immigrant visa program so that it no longer operates via a lottery system. The program, which aims to provide visas to people from countries with low rates of immigration to United States, currently distributes up to 50,000 visas a year.

A related initiative, according to congressional aides, would shore up the Temporary Protection Status program that has been under attack by the Trump administration. Trump has decided, for example, to end the TPS status granted to about 200,000 people from El Salvador following a devastating earthquake in the central American country.

TPS grants legal status to immigrants, allowing them to work.

A border security provision is likely to include more money for a mix of additional physical barriers and technology along the U.S. border with Mexico but probably not a border wall on the scale that Trump campaigned on in 2016.

For years, Congress has weighed clamping down on what conservatives call “chain migration,” which opens the door for immediate relatives of legal immigrants to come the United States — often following a protracted wait time. It was not clear whether the senators’ deal would somehow target parents or siblings seeking entry.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

In wild twist, Democrats say Trump agrees on plan to protect 'Dreamers' from deportation

The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached an agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s long-sought border wall.

The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren’t invited to attend.

It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former president Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.

Trump ended the program earlier this month and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called “Dreamers” begin to expire.

“We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders partially disputed their characterization, saying over Twitter that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”

Although often used interchangeably, the initiative known as the Dreamers program is not the same as DACA. The former is named for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that has been introduced numerous times over the past 16 years but has failed to pass. It aims to provide conditional permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who enrol in college or the military.

DACA is a policy introduced by former U.S. president Barack Obama in 2012 that defers by two years the deportation of people younger than 31 (as of June 15, 2012) who came to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 and meet certain conditions. The deferral can be renewed after two years if the conditions continue to be met, and successful applicants are also eligible for a work permit.

Trump was a Democrat most of his life

It was the second time in two weeks that Trump cut out Republicans to reach a deal with Pelosi and Schumer. A person briefed on the meeting, who demanded anonymity to discuss it, said the deal specifies bipartisan legislation called the DREAM Act that provides eventual citizenship for the young immigrants.

House Republicans would normally rebel over such an approach, which many view as amnesty for law-breakers. It remains to be seen how conservatives’ loyalty to Trump will affect their response to a policy they would have opposed under other circumstances.

The House’s foremost immigration hardliner, GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, made clear that he, for one, was not happy.

Addressing Trump over Twitter, King wrote that if the reports were true, “Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”

Earlier Wednesday, during a White House meeting with moderate House members from both parties, Trump had urged lawmakers to come up with a bipartisan solution for the “Dreamers.”

“We don’t want to forget DACA,” Trump told the members at the meeting. “We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.”

Won’t give up on wall

Foreshadowing what was to take place later that evening, Trump said he would be open to separating the wall issue from the question of the younger immigrants, as long as the wall got dealt with eventually.

At Thursday night’s dinner, “the president was clear he would press for the wall but separate from this agreement,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

The apparent deal is the latest example of Trump’s sudden pivot to bipartisanship after months of railing against Democrats as “obstructionist.” He has also urged them to join him in overhauling the nation’s tax code, among other priorities.

Trump, who was deeply disappointed by Republicans’ failure to make good on years of promises to repeal “Obamacare,” infuriated many in his party last week when he reached a three-month deal with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed relief to states affected by recent hurricanes.

“More and more we’re trying to work things out together,” Trump explained Wednesday, calling the development a “positive thing” for both parties.

“If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that’s what we’re going to give a shot,” he said.

The come-together moment now appears to extend to the thorny issue of immigration, which has been vexing lawmakers for years. Funding for Trump’s promised wall had been thought to be a major point of contention between Republicans and Democrats as they attempted to forge a deal — yet by Thursday, Trump was apparently ready to deal even on that issue, the one that most defined his campaign for president last year.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News