After DACA Deadline Passes, Thousands Demand Action to Protect 'Dreamers'
06 March, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Gregory Stephens
Protesters swarmed around Capitol Hill on Monday, demanding Congress to pass legislation to protect immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children.
When President Donald Trump last September scrapped a program that shielded large numbers of young arrivals from deportation, he gave lawmakers six months to craft a solution.
Several congressional Democrats and immigration advocates have warned that despite the court injunction, DACA recipients remain in legal uncertainty thanks to a crisis of Trump's making.
Monday was supposed to be the day that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program officially came to an end, terminating deportation protections for almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. Instead, it's in limbo, and activists are rallying in Washington, D.C., to save DACA and shield its recipients from deportation.
"When we have a deadline. we get really serious about it", number two Senate Democrat Dick Durbin told National Public Radio.
At this time Homeland Security is only processing DACA applications for renewals if you had DACA status in the past and if it expired after September 5, 2017.
"We are here to make sure they don't forget about us".
Lawmakers had every opportunity to legislate a fix, but the fate of Dreamers has proved too divisive for Congress to resolve.
They agreed, but despite one week of floor debate last month, the Senate failed to pass any of a series of proposals addressing Dreamers.
In January, the president proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants as part of an immigration package that included $25 billion for a wall and other border enforcement measures and sharp cuts to legal immigration.
Currently, the House Republican leadership is backing a bill by Rep.
Meanwhile, immigration is all but sidelined. The Senate considers several judicial nominees this week, negotiations over federal spending are ongoing, and lawmakers are mulling whether to reform gun laws following a deadly school shooting in Florida.
The statewide rallies call for a clean "Dream Act" that does not criminalize communities and separate families, allowing for the children brought to the country illegally to stay legally.
With partisanship roiling Capitol Hill, that appeared increasingly unlikely.
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