GOP Seeks to Decouple Debate from Spending Bill
Immigration Leader Rep. Luis Gutiérrez’s presence at San Diego State University for a “Defend the Dream” rally on Friday is coming at a time when the future for participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program looks bleaker by the day.
Congressman Gutiérrez, the co-chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Immigration and Border Issues Task Force, along with Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democratic candidate in CA50, will be urging Congress to immediately remove the threat of deportation for nearly 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Rep. Gutiérrez is the Capitol’s most outspoken advocate for a DACA “fix”, which has been delayed and deferred throughout a series of short-term spending resolutions by Congress. Nearly 30% of DACA recipients reside in California and, according to Alliance San Diego, 40,000 residents of San Diego County are DACA-eligible or DACA recipients.
Event sponsors include Indivisible CA50, College Democrats of SDSU, the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force and Pi Sigma Alpha, (the National Political Science Honor Society).
Details on the event:
Even though 65% of the public supports the (DACA) according to the latest polling, chances of the program being revived are declining as the latest deadline for yet another stopgap spending bill approaches on Thursday.
It’s become clear to me that enough Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration have been playing a sick game, holding DREAMers as hostages when they, in fact, have no intention of cutting a deal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pledge to begin immigration debate by February 8 if a spending deal isn’t reached won’t be happening. South Dakota Senator. John Thune, a McConnell deputy, told Politico debate won’t happen because there are now too many bills up for consideration.
“There’s so many different version of bills out there,” Thune said. “We’ve got Graham-Durbin, Tillis-Lankford, Perdue and Cotton, the president’s bill. There’s a whole bunch of them out there.”
Should the Senate cough up a DACA bill, the rightwingers in the House of Representatives are ready to kill it.
The ballgame is still in the House. The Senate can do whatever it wants on the floor next week, but if it doesn’t have the support of House Republican leadership and by far most importantly, the support of Trump it doesn’t matter, aides say. As such, there is increasing talk of pushing off DACA for a year, beyond the midterms, aides say. It’s an idea in its earliest stages, and would likely only be triggered by a change in the court case that puts an immediate end to the program.
A court-ordered resumption on accepting renewal applications for DACA is only in place until the legal challenges seeking to abolish altogether are final. The March 5th deadline set by the President is on hold for now, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is appealing the court ruling.
Any possibility of President Trump extending the deadline for Congressional action ended this morning, according to the Washington Post:
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said Tuesday that President Trump is not expected to extend a March 5 deadline for when legal protection and work permits begin to expire for young immigrants known as “dreamers” — raising the stakes for lawmakers struggling to reach a solution.
“I doubt very much” Trump would extend the program, Kelly told reporters during an impromptu interview at the U.S. Capitol.
He told reporters that he was “not so sure this president has the authority to extend it” because the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects roughly 690,000 undocumented immigrants was not based on law.
Kelly also told reporters he did not think Dreamers would be top targets for deportation as long as they lack criminal records.
The reality is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement detentions of Dreamers were already increasing under the Trump administration prior to the President’s suspension of the program.
The White House has no intention of accepting anything less than the proposal authored by the administration’s resident nativists.
From the Associated Press:
Trump has proposed creating a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million immigrants covered by DACA who might potentially qualify for its protections.
In exchange, Trump wants $25 billion for border security, including money to build his much-touted wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He also wants to curb legal immigration, restricting the relatives that legal immigrants could sponsor for citizenship and ending a lottery that distributes visas to people from diverse places like Africa.
In other words, Make America White(r) Again. The Washington Post did a deep dive into the long-term impacts of the administration’s proposal:
All told, the proposal could cut off entry for more than 20 million legal immigrants over the next four decades. The change could have profound effects on the size of the American population and its composition, altering projections for economic growth and the age of the nation’s workforce, as well as shaping its politics and culture, demographers and immigration experts say.
“By greatly slashing the number of Hispanic and black African immigrants entering America, this proposal would reshape the future United States. Decades ahead, many fewer of us would be nonwhite, or have nonwhite people in our families,” said Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development (CGD), a think tank that has been critical of the proposal. “Selectively blocking immigrant groups changes who America is. This is the biggest attempt in a century to do that.”
There’s another long-term GOP agenda item buried in this approach, namely paving the way to ending Social Security:
But by reducing the country’s overall population, the plan would eventually reduce the overall growth rate of the American economy. Under Trump’s plan, the American economy could be more than $1 trillion smaller than it would have been two decades from now. That’s largely because the economy would have fewer workers.
The plan could also raise the median age of the American worker. About four of every five immigrants is projected to be under the age of 40, while only half of the country’s overall population is that young, according to Census Bureau data. A demographic crunch is already expected due to millions of upcoming retirements from the aging “baby boomer” generation, raising concerns about the long-term solvency of programs such as Social Security and Medicare that rely on worker contributions.
The day is rapidly approaching when our ‘national conversation’ on immigration is going to move from the halls of Congress into the streets of America. GOP/Nativist demands on a border wall, increased enforcement, and mass deportations are now and always have been based on white supremacy.
While changing the composition of the Congress may offer some long-term relief for targets of this racist ideology, the short-term threats are all-too-real for many.
Meet my friend, Hector Barajas, who is one of hundreds of #DeportedVeterans. He was deported to Mexico in 2010. The won’t let him come home alive, but if he dies in Mexico, then they will fly his body back to the U.S. & bury him with a 21-gun salute and full military honors. pic.twitter.com/gYJHjx1OQm
— Iván Ceja #CleanDreamAct (@ivancejatv) February 5, 2018
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