With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program due to expire on March 5, the Senate has been scrambling to come up with a compromise to address the plight of California and other U.S. residents who were illegally brought into this country as children. The Trump administration has been against DACA, a program instituted during the Obama administration, from the beginning, and on Sept. 5, 2017, vowed to end it once it expires.
On Feb. 15, the Senate voted on four possible DACA alternatives. Each one needed 60 votes to pass, and none of them managed to garner that many votes. Three of the four proposals included a provision whereby the 1.8 million people who are currently living in the U.S., but were illegally brought into this country as children, would receive a path to citizenship. One such proposal from the Common Sense Coalition, a bipartisan Senate centrist group, was defeated 54-45. Another, sponsored by Delaware Democrat Chris Coons and Arizona Republican John McCain, was defeated 52-47. The third, sponsored by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, was defeated 59-40.
All three of these proposals included other provisions as well, such as securing the U.S.-Mexico border, limiting family-based immigration, and doing away with the visa lottery system. The fourth proposal, an amendment sponsored by Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey, was an amendment proposing to cut grant funding to sanctuary cities. It was defeated 54-45.
Given the numerous recent deportations of longstanding U.S. residents who have never committed a crime, others similarly situated and concerned about their deportation risks may wish to talk with an experienced immigration attorney to determine what, if any, recourse they have.
Source: Ballotpedia, “115th Congress on immigration, 2017-2018,” Editorial staff, Feb. 17, 2018
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