The Week Ahead: Jan. 16-19
January 16, 2018
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Christians should be the first to ask Congress to do now what they should have done before the Obama administration clumsily took matters into its own hands: provide a fair and permanent solution for those who have already demonstrated a personal willingness and fitness to be contributors to the strength of our nation.”
— Dana Hall McCain, Alabama conservative faith and culture writer, Jan. 13
With Deadline This Week, Pressure Mounts for Dreamer Solution
Dreamers remain in limbo ahead of Friday’s deadline for a spending bill that could include a legislative solution.
Following a heated meeting late last week, President Trump appears to be taking a hardline stance on immigration negotiations despite urging a bipartisan solution for Dreamers in an earlier meeting last week.
Congress is under increasing pressure to reach a deal that satisfies demands for both Dreamer protection and enhanced security. A bipartisan bill introduced today, by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Pete Aguilar (D-California), is a positive step as negotiations continue. Support for a solution is coming from conservative constituencies across the country (see Quote of the Week and Must Reads).
USCIS Resumes Accepting DACA Renewal Applications
A federal judge in California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Jan. 9 ordering the Trump administration to partially resume the DACA program, but the ruling offers no long-term certainty for current DACA recipients or other Dreamers, and the pressure on Congress remains.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is again accepting renewal requests, per the ruling, but individuals who never have received DACA are not eligible, and an appeal of the injunction is possible.
Evangelical Leaders Urge Just, Compassionate Solution
The Evangelical Immigration Table released a letter Sunday reacting to President Trump’s alleged comments on immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
“Our president reportedly made statements recently that stand in opposition to these core biblical and American values,” they write. “The President has now denied some of the reported language. We would hope that nothing approaching what was reported would ever be said by an American leader.”
The group of eight influential evangelical leaders also urged members of Congress to work together toward a legislative solution for Dreamers, writing, “we hope and pray that [Trump] will join the good-faith efforts of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators to allow Dreamers to continue to work lawfully and contribute in the United States while also improving border security.”
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
CNN: Why Trump voters need the immigrants they want to turn away
By Ronald Brownstein
Jan. 16, 2018
The irony in President Donald Trump’s hostility to immigration, expressed again in reports of his vulgar comments about Africa and Haiti last week, is that in appealing to the racial and cultural resentments of his political base he is directly threatening their economic interests.
The equation is unmistakable: as America ages, the older and blue-collar whites at the core of Trump’s electoral coalition in 2016 need more working-age immigrants to pay the taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.
Without robust immigration, each American worker will need to support substantially more retirees in the future than workers do today. And that will greatly increase the pressure for either unsustainable tax increases or biting benefit reductions in the federal retirement programs that the older and blue-collar whites central to Trump’s support rely upon so heavily.
DES MOINES REGISTER (Tupper Op-ed): Why DACA is crucial to protecting both local communities and our nation
By Michael W. Tupper
Jan. 15, 2018
I’ve worked in law enforcement in Iowa for the past 25 years (14 years as a police chief). I have spent the past six-plus years as the chief of police in Marshalltown. I can tell you without a doubt that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is crucial to the security and overall safety of my community.
As a law enforcement officer, my No. 1 priority is always safety — the safety of everyone in my community and my country. When law enforcement establishes trust with residents, the entire community is safer. That is why I’m writing this piece, to urge Rep. Rod Blum and Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley to take this matter as seriously as any other issue of national security, because it is.
There isn’t much time left to find a solution. Every day hundreds of Dreamers lose their protected status — and that makes our country less safe.
GAINESVILLE SUN (Castro and Fuchs Op-ed): Allow young immigrants to keep pursuing their dreams
By Mariana Castro and Kent Fuchs
Jan. 12, 2018
At the age of 10, I waved goodbye to my favorite bodyguards from the other side of the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. What my brothers didn’t know was that it was the last time they would see their little sister. My mother and I fled my home country seeking a stable future, leaving my family behind.
At first I didn’t understand why I was leaving, but I knew I was coming with a secret: I was never to tell a soul about that trip, never to share with anyone that we were immigrants, much less undocumented. When I first disclosed this information to my guidance counselor, I could see in her face why. She knew that five-hour flight from Peru could cost me my future, regardless of my excellent academic record.