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Legislation to Protect the “Dreamers” & DACA Could Become a Political Football


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Recently, President Donald Trump rescinded an Executive Order called DACA issued by former President Barack Obama protecting undocumented immigrants who came to this country illegally as children.
The impact of Pres. Trump’s action could leave 800,000 people – the “Dreamers” as they are called – subject to deportation.
Instead of making the rescission immediate, however, Pres. Trump gave Congress six months to pass some form of legislation to protect the Dreamers status in this country. This may be a difficult task given the fractious nature of Congress and its displayed inability to pass major legislation.
To obtain protected status under the Obama order, Dreamers had to provide all of their vital information to the federal government, pass background checks, have no criminal record and be either employed, in the military, or attending some form of school, according to Dr. Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC, a policy and research think tank.
As a result, these people are better educated and have better jobs that the average American citizen. They also have lower crime rates, Selee says.
Since Congress now must decide whether to extend protections to this group, Selee says that various ideological groups may splinter on this issue making agreement on any type of legislation difficult.
Most Americans, however, favor protecting this group.
Therefore, Selee believes that Congress will tie the Dreamer Act to another piece of controversial legislation to appease various factions in Congress. For example, he says, Congress may attach some funding for Pres. Trump’s border wall or a boost in border patrols in exchange for protecting the Dreamers.
In short, Selee feels that Congress will pass some form of Dreamer protection but it will be tied to legislation that give more conservative factions something they want – such as wall funding.
If Congress does not pass any protective legislation, Pres. Trump has “Tweeted” that he will “revisit” this issue – leaving the status of Dreamers uncertain.