The Week Ahead: Dec. 11-15
December 11, 2017
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“We must pass legislation that protects DACA recipients from deportation and gives them the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible. Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do.”
—34 Republican members of Congress in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Dec. 5
Negotiations on Spending Bill, Dreamer Legislation Continue
Congress approved a continuing resolution last Thursday that funds the federal government through Dec. 22, giving Congress two more weeks to reach a deal on a spending bill for next year.
Discussions continue on whether such a bill will address Dreamers, with a number of Democrats and Republicans saying they will not support a long-term bill unless it includes a legislative solution for young immigrants.
Following a meeting with congressional leadership and President Trump last Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) stated that no specifics had been agreed to, but that discussions will continue on a number of issues, including the passage of the DREAM Act.
Meanwhile, negotiations have been complicated by Trump bringing sanctuary cities into the Dreamer debate during his weekly address, by conflating the 800,000 productive and contributing Dreamers with criminals and threats to public safety. Given the absence of a clear legal definition for “sanctuary jurisdictions” and the problematic nature of compelling localities to undertake traditionally federal immigration enforcement responsibilities, this development further muddles what is already a contentious debate.
With a deadline looming on Dec. 22, legislation for Dreamers is increasingly urgent—a solution would take an estimated seven months to implement, meaning even if one is agreed upon by the March 5, 2018 DACA deadline, thousands of people will lose protection from deportation.
Christian Dreamers to Advocate for Legislative Solution
A group of Christian Dreamers from across the Midwest and the South is meeting with congressional offices this week to urge Congress to find a solution for young immigrants before the end of year.
The group will also participate in a press call with Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. EST to discuss the urgency of legislation that addresses Dreamers. The call will include Dreamers from Georgia, Illinois and South Carolina.
Participants are part of the Voices of Christian Dreamers network, a grassroots movement which is “committed to changing the conversation about undocumented immigrants in the Church and beyond, through highlighting biblical teaching, personal stories and other helpful resources.”
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
ONLY IN AMERICA
This week on Only in America, the National Immigration Forum’s weekly podcast, Executive Director Ali Noorani talks to Utah Dreamer Bernardo Castro. Subscribe here: http://immigrationforum.org/podcast/
NEW YORK TIMES (Magnus Op-Ed): Tucson’s Police Chief: Sessions’s Anti-Immigrant Policies Will Make Cities More Dangerous
By Chris Magnus
Dec. 6, 2017
TUCSON — As the police chief here, I’m deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s campaign against “sanctuary cities,” which refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities. Washington is trying to retaliate against them by withholding funding for things like crime prevention, drug treatment and mental health programs.
Tucson is not technically a sanctuary city. But we are close to the border with Mexico and take pride in being welcoming to immigrants. Yet the government has warned us that our grants are in danger.
WASHINGTON POST (Rubin Op-Ed): Democrats can’t shut down the government, but they can win on DACA
By Jennifer Rubin
Dec. 10, 2017
There is lots of talk about whether Democrats will try to shut down the government, after the two-week funding bill runs out, in order to get relief for young people affected by President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight ponders: “Democrats arguably have more to lose politically from a shutdown than Republicans. They hold a large lead on the generic congressional ballot, and Trump is deeply unpopular. Together, this means Democrats have a good shot at taking back the House of Representatives next year. Any unpopular moves such as forcing a shutdown could lower those odds.”
DES MOINES REGISTER (Christy and Hoekstra Op-Ed): Dreamers want a future in Iowa. We should let them
By Greg Christy and Erik Hoekstra
Dec. 5, 2017
Olivia and David* are model college students. Olivia is a peer tutor and a leader in Northwestern College’s multicultural efforts and events. A double major in art and psychology, she plans to attend graduate school and open an art therapy practice to serve inner-city children and teens. David is a Dordt College exercise science major who’s been diligent in his studies and a leader on his athletic team. He also volunteers in the community and plans to start his own business after he graduates.
Olivia and David are also undocumented.
Olivia came to the United States from Mexico when she was 3 years old and has since lived in the Midwest. David’s family is from Colombia, but he’s spent almost his entire life in Texas.