White House Suggests a Path Forward for DACA Recipients
Posted on : February 8, 2018
by : Carlos Alvarez Tostado
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been at the center of a great deal of controversy in recent weeks, even prompting a brief government shutdown. Representatives in the Senate are continuing to work on a bipartisan proposal, but in the meantime, the White House has announced that it has come up with a plan that will provide a long-term solution for both DACA recipients and those who wish to see greater border security.
President Obama created the DACA program in July of 2012 when he signed an executive order that instructed the Department of Justice to defer any legal action against people who had been brought to the country illegally as children. The program allowed individuals that entered the US before their 16th Birthday and were to register with the US Customs and Immigration Services and remain in the country without fear of being deported for two years at a time. The government estimates that there are currently 689,000 DACA recipients, with more living in California than in any other state.
The program became a focal point of the national political scene when President Trump announced he would be rescinding the DACA program through a gradual phase-out. Democrats began calling vehemently for a solution that would keep DACA recipients in the country, but with a minority vote in the House and Senate, they have little ability to pass legislation that would protect those who came to the country as children. Democrats saw an opportunity to force a vote on a long-term DACA solution by refusing to vote on a government funding bill, which requires 60 votes to pass (and thus needs some Democratic support). When Senate Republicans refused to move forward on DACA discussions, Democrats refused to pass the funding bill, and the federal government, lacking funding, shut down. Eventually, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell agreed to bring DACA up for debate in the coming weeks, and Democrats agreed to vote for the funding bill that ended the shutdown.
On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, the White House announced that it had developed a long-term legislative solution to the DACA issue. According to President Trump, his proposed legislation would permit DACA recipients to again apply for legal status and possibly become eligible for permanent citizenship after 10 to 12 years. The proposed bill is scheduled to be released next week but will likely include funding for a border wall, an end to the diversity visa program, and limits on citizens and permanent residents’ abilities to sponsor relatives who wish to immigrate to the US. For now, a federal court injunction has forced Customs and Immigration Services to continue to accept DACA applications despite Trump announcing that the program would end. The Trump administration is appealing this decision, but so far, the program remains in place as before.
Hopefully within the next coming days we will see some type of solution to this DACA issue, in the meantime, if you or someone you love is in need of skilled and trustworthy legal assistance with an immigration issue in Southern California, contact the knowledgeable and dedicated San Diego immigration lawyers at the Banker’s Hill Law Firm for a consultation, at 619-230-0330.