tags: , , , , Press Releases

As Trump Administration Signals Death Knell for DACA, Congress Faces Last Chance to Act for Dreamers

Share This:

Win or Lose, Trump is Determined to Deport Dreamers

In typical fashion, and in its determination to dismantle DACA, administration officials are saying their latest effort to limit the Obama-era program, is just a temporary measure until next steps are decided. We know what that means. When Trump and his gang say “temporary for now” they really mean “termination just after the election.” 

The recent DACA memo from the Trump administration should be understood as a two-step process to kill off the hugely successful and popular DACA program. The first step is to bar approximately 300,000 otherwise eligible Dreamers from applying. The second is to wait for Congress to go home and the election to happen before they take the next step and end DACA once and for all, putting some 650,000 current DACA beneficiaries under threat of deportation.

There is a way to thwart this strategy. Congress can do what the House did in the HEROES Act and include a provision that automatically renews work permits for DACA recipients (and protects TPS holders and essential workers). Unsurprisingly, immigrants were cut out of the Senate GOP HEALS Act, but as negotiations continue in the coming days, there is a chance for Congress to act and save DACA from the two-step dismantling strategy of the Trump administration.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice: 

“A hallmark of Trump’s presidency has been the termination of DACA— making long-term, deeply rooted immigrants deportable, despite the fact that most have lived here longer than they have lived anywhere else. Trump and his henchmen are pretending to extend the program, but this is just smoke and mirrors. This interim action is a distraction and a way for the administration to drive home their anti-immigrant agenda, without paying the full political costs for terminating such an immensely popular program.

The legislation put forth by the Republican Senate will aid and abet this mantra even after Trump gets escorted out of office. The GOP goal is simple: deport Dreamers and blame Democrats for not legislating a solution. Now is the time for lawmakers to create effective legislation that will ensure that Dreamers can live without fear. They should immediately move to debate and pass the Dream and Promise Act, as Senator Dick Durbin has moved on two occasions in recent weeks, only to be shut down by Republicans. Barring that, they should adopt the automatic extension of work permits passed by the House for DACA recipients, TPS holders and other essential workers helping the country cope with the pandemic.

Beyond the moral and economic imperative to protect DACA, the Republican Party’s relentless strategy of race-baiting and xenophobia doesn’t work with the American people. Unfortunately, DACA recipients and the rest of America cannot wait for a lame-duck session or a new Congress and President to take action. The Senate must act now.”