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Trump Administration Slows Progress on DREAM Act with Immigration Demands

The Trump Administration has issued a number of demands to be included in any new immigration bill, jeopardizing the future of 800,000 undocumented youths who are relying on passage of the DREAM Act.

Trump’s list of demands includes funding of a border wall, a promise Trump made while on the campaign trail, and harsher restrictions on sanctuary cities, localities that limit the jurisdiction of federal immigration authorities.

Just last month, President Trump made what appeared to be an informal deal with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer promising to work across the aisle to push through immigration reform that would protect DREAMers, or undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children and qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the demands a “non-starter” echoing similar responses from other members of the Democratic party. The list of immigration demands severely jeopardizes the hope of passing a bipartisan immigration deal that would include the DREAM Act, a bill introduced that would protect undocumented DREAMers.

Implemented under President Barack Obama, DACA is a two year, renewable program for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as minors. Approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants have been issued work visas, received a college education, or deferred deportation because of DACA, allowing them to stay independently and safely within their communities. Trump repealed DACA this summer, punting the responsibility to protect these young people to Congress.

The DREAM Act, introduced to Congress by Democratic Senator Richard Durbin (D – IL) and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R – SC), is a bipartisan bill that would allow undocumented immigrant youth — most of whom grew up in the United States — to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship. The Act would also end deportation proceedings of anyone who qualifies for the DREAM Act and children over five years of age who are in elementary or middle school.

 

Media: Feminist Newswire 8/31/17, 9/11/17; Mother Jones 10/11/17; The Hill 10/9/17; Politico 10/10/17

 

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