The Week Ahead: March 5-9

Communications Assistant

March 5, 2018



Deadline or Not, Urgency Remains for Permanent DACA Solution

Today marks the deadline President Trump set when he terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last September. While the DACA program remains in place in a limited fashion following two federal court rulings that found fault in the manner by which the administration ended the program, DACA recipients still face uncertainty and a more permanent legislative solution remains urgent.

On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court, for the time being, declined to hear the Trump administration’s challenge to a lower court’s ruling that keeps DACA renewals temporarily in place and blocks the government’s full halting of the program. The decision keeps the initial injunction the administration challenged in place as the case plays out in the lower courts. But the program could end at any time, either judicially or administratively, leaving hundreds of thousands of Dreamers with DACA at risk. New DACA applications continue not to be accepted.

Among a host of responses this week to DACA recipients’ continued uncertainty, Christians throughout the country are participating in a week of prayer for Dreamers, their families, members of Congress and the president. Along with Voices of Christian Dreamers, the Evangelical Immigration Table released a statement and has prepared a prayer guide to help encourage people to pray for a permanent solution that allows Dreamers to continue living and working in the U.S.

Congress Weighs Temporary Solution as Omnibus Deadline Approaches

As the fate of Dreamers remains in limbo, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) introduced a bipartisan bill last week that would provide a “three-for-three” approach to protect Dreamers and bolster border security. The bill would provide a three-year extension of DACA protections and $7.6 billion to finance three years of President Trump’s border security policies.

After the Senate rejected four proposed immigration bills, including two bipartisan proposals, Feb. 15, several Republican senators have suggested that the most likely path forward is the inclusion of a temporary DACA extension in the omnibus spending bill that must pass Congress by March 23

A Feb. 28 CNN poll showed that 83 percent of Americans believe DACA recipients should be allowed to remain in the U.S., including at least two-thirds of Republicans and 64 percent of voters who approve of President Trump’s job performance.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM: With March 5 here, no relief in sight for DACA recipients like this Fort Worth woman
By Hanaa’ Tameez
March 5, 2018

Luz Bolanos always wanted to work in medicine.
In high school, she attended a medical program that catered to her interests in the field. She wasn’t sure what exactly she wanted to study or where she would go to college, but her focus was always on a career in healthcare.
Those dreams were shattered when she was advised that her undocumented status would put her at risk with the immigration authorities.
“I was told, ‘If you enter the medical field, you’re going to need a Social Security card and you don’t have it,’” Bolanos recalled. “‘So you might get a job or you might not and even then you might not be able to [grow in] your career.’”
So instead, she chose to study technology. Today, the 24-year-old Fort Worth resident is working on her master’s in information systems at the University of Texas at Arlington while serving as a paralegal.

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STARS AND STRIPES: Deadline puts pressure on ‘Dreamers’ who seek to serve in US military
By Dianna Cahn
March 4, 2018

WASHINGTON — In the Queens, N.Y., neighborhood where he grew up, Harminder Saini never thought twice about having foreign-born parents. Half of the people in his diverse neighborhood did.
Saini was born in India but thought of himself as an American. He celebrated Halloween and the Fourth of July and at 7, he watched the plumes of smoke rise up from lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. Saini grew up with an appreciation for his country’s history and a fascination with the U.S. military.
It was only after high school, when he wanted to get a job, that his parents told him a hard truth: He was undocumented. He had no passport or Social Security number; he couldn’t get a driver’s license. His future was suddenly in limbo.
“It was heartbreaking,” he said. “I realized that on paper, at least, I wasn’t American. That really hurt.”

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WASHINGTON POST: Trump says American workers are hurt by immigration. But after ICE raided this Texas town, they never showed up.
By Nick Miroff
March 4, 2018

CACTUS, Tex. — The DJs at the Spanish-language radio stations gave warnings whenever Immigration and Customs Enforcement came around. “Be careful out there,” they’d say. “The relatives are in town.”
Not on the day of the Big Raid. Nothing leaked out. State police sealed off the highways in and out of town. ICE agents came with a fleet of empty buses and left with them full.
Their target that day was the huge, steam-billowing beef plant here on the high plains of the Texas Panhandle, owned then by meatpacking giant Swift & Co. “Everyone on the production floor was shouting, ‘La Migra! La Migra!’ ” Monica Loya, a former plant worker, recalled. “There were people hiding behind machinery, in boxes, even in the carcasses.”
Operation Wagon Train hit Swift & Co. plants in six states on Dec. 12, 2006, arresting nearly 1,300 workers. In tiny Cactus, 300 were taken into custody — about 10 percent of the town’s population.

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WASHINGTON POST (Editorial): Gratuitous cruelty by Homeland Security: Separating a 7-year-old from her mother
By Editorial Board
March 4, 2018

WHAT, EXACTLY, did a 7-year-old Congolese girl do to the United States to deserve the trauma that has been visited upon her — including forcible separation from her mother — by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her immigration agents?
There is no allegation that the little girl, known in court filings only as S.S., is a terrorist, nor is there any suggestion her mother is one. Neither was involved with smuggling, nor contraband, nor lawbreaking of any other variety. Rather, S.S.’s 39-year-old mother presented herself and her daughter to U.S. officials when they crossed the border from Mexico four months ago, explaining they had fled extreme violence in Congo, and requesting asylum.

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ECONOMIST (Opinion): A lesson in American greatness
March 1, 2018

NOTHING is more American than Emmanuel Makender’s discontent. A 35-year-old taxi driver in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mr Makender has a comfortable four-bedroom house and two cars outside it. He earns $40,000 a year, the average family income in Grand Rapids, which means his pregnant wife need not work. Yet when congratulated on his achievements, he says he hopes “to be successful one day”. Dissatisfaction, hunger and striving are intertwined. “Still living the American dream, we struggle on!” he says, at the end of a two-hour catch-up.
Lexington had met Mr Makender 18 years before, in different circumstances. He was then a destitute war orphan living in a fly-blown refugee camp in northern Kenya. A fugitive from the war in Sudan, which had claimed an estimated 2m lives, including most of Mr Makender’s immediate family, he had fled his village six years earlier, after soldiers attacked it one night. They killed his father, three of his siblings and, he thought, his mother, leaving him, aged around 12, terrified and alone in the dark.

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