The Week Ahead: Aug. 28-Sept. 1

Communications Associate

August 28, 2017


“The politics of repealing DACA without a fix would be uniquely painful for the administration and the President’s party, who [Republicans] rightly believe would be blamed.”

Todd Schulte, President, FWD.US, Aug. 25


Trump Likely to Make DACA Decision This Week

President Trump is expected to make a decision around Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) this week. Ten states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have imposed a Sept. 5 “deadline” for the president to rescind the program or risk legal action. Reports indicate that Trump is likely either to revoke the program or to end renewals and allow current deferrals to expire.

Should that happen, nearly 800,000 recipients would be subject to deportation, at great cost to the American economy, workers and communities. These young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, were brought to America as children but have been able to study and work without fear of deportation. Surveys have indicated that 73 percent of Trump supporters and 78 percent of voters overall favor a way for Dreamers to stay.

That puts the spotlight solidly on Congress, where action to protect DACA recipients, and their contributions to a healthy economy for American workers, is urgent. A bipartisan group of seven senators, led by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), are co-sponsoring the DREAM Act of 2017. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) introduced a companion version in the House; co-sponsors include Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) and Zoe Lofgren (D-California).

SB 4 Scheduled to Take Effect Friday

Texas’ controversial Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) is slated to go into effect Friday. The law requires law enforcement officials to detain persons in local jails beyond their scheduled releases at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), even without a warrant. It also outlaws policies that prohibit or discourage law enforcement from asking about someone’s immigration status.

Law enforcement and faith leaders are among those who oppose the law, pointing out that its requirements threaten trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.


Summary of legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


UNIVISION (Rodriguez Op-Ed): President Trump: Now is the Time to Fight for DACA
By Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
Aug. 26, 2017

Back in June, our team at the NHCLC was first informed that 11 conservative state attorneys general were threatening to sue the federal government if the Trump administration failed to rescind DACA. Then Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, while sympathetic to Dreamers, advised the Hispanic Congressional Caucus that the executive order might be indefensible in court since it was not established by an act of Congress.

Deferred Action for Child Arrivals was created by President Obama in 2012 – and continued by President Trump – as a response to congressional gridlock, to shield hundreds of thousands of children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, by no fault of their own.

I wrote an article at that time placing the blame squarely on Congress for their repeated failure to act. I also urged them to short-circuit the lawsuit by moving quickly to pass legislation that protected Dreamers. They have not.

Now, news reports suggest that President Trump is “likely to rescind DACA” or, since DACA requires that it be renewed every two years, simply allow it to expire.

Let me say this at the outset: I have been publically and privately very supportive of this president’s willingness to defend religious freedom and to protect the lives of the unborn. Similarly, the NHCLC has worked diligently, often behind closed doors, urging the president to move away from his campaign promise to rescind DACA on day one.

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WASHINGTON POST: 103-year-old Cambodian woman becomes US citizen
By Robert Jablon
August 23, 2017

LOS ANGELES — A 103-year-old Cambodian woman who survived starvation, suffering and war in her native land beamed and waved a tiny American flag on Tuesday as she became a United States citizen.

Hong Inh was the oldest of more than 10,000 people who took the oath of allegiance in a cavernous room at the downtown Convention Center in Los Angeles.

She came to the United States when she was about 97 years old to join a daughter and other relatives.

Three generations of her family, from her 80-year-old daughter Hieng Meng to 13-year-old great-granddaughter Melissa Tea were on hand for the ceremonies.

She has 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in the U.S. and Cambodia.

Her relatives helped Hong Inh up from a wheelchair and she stood with a flag in her raised hand to receive the oath. Her grandson spoke the words but she joined in the roar of applause at its conclusion.

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THE HILL: GOP lawmakers urge Trump to keep protections for ‘Dreamers’
By Cristina Marcos
August 24, 2017

A group of mostly centrist House Republicans is urging President Trump to keep protections in place for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

In a letter made public Thursday, a half-dozen GOP lawmakers encouraged Trump to focus his immigration enforcement policies on criminals and leave the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place until Congress can pass immigration reform.

“Children brought to the United States at a young age did not have a choice in the matter,” the lawmakers wrote. “Such cases require careful and thoughtful analysis about what is in the best interests of our country.”

“We strongly support your commitment to deporting those who have broken our laws, and we believe the resources that might be directed towards targeting those with DACA status would be better spent on targeting criminals.”

Trump faces a September deadline to make his position clear on the Obama-era program, which grants temporary work permits to certain qualifying undocumented immigrants.

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