Spending Package Leaves Behind ‘Dreamers’ as DACA Protection Won’t Be Included

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Spending Package Leaves Behind ‘Dreamers’ as DACA Protection Won’t Be Included

Spending Package Leaves Behind ‘Dreamers’ as DACA Protection Won’t Be Included

In October, a 5th Circuit of Appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was… 20.12.2022, Sputnik International

2022-12-20T21:55+0000

2022-12-20T21:55+0000

2022-12-20T21:51+0000

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The $1.7 trillion spending package that was recently introduced in Congress does not include an expansion of or protection for the current DACA program, ending any reasonable hope that the program would be preserved before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January.The DACA program protects “Dreamers,” immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children. Since its 2012 creation, many of those protected under DACA have grown up, started families of their own, and entered the workforce or started college.There is a not-unfounded fear that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court will strike down the program entirely.According to American Progress, there are 300,000 US-born children who depend on at least one DACA recipient parent. An estimated $9.5 billion in taxes are also raised through DACA recipients every year, money that will be lost if DACA ends.Democrats want to pass the omnibus spending bill, even without protections for “Dreamers,” because they fear what a spending bill led by Republicans might feature, including further anti-immigration policies.The spending package will fund the government through fiscal year 2023, which ends on September 30.Newly-Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina created the framework to protect current DACA recipients; however, it failed to get support from many Democrats because it also included increased interior immigration enforcement. That deal would have put the other 9 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States at greater risk of deportation.The House has passed two immigration reform bills, but neither is likely to gather the 10 Republican votes needed to overcome the filibuster.Without the enshrinement of DACA or an expansion to cover all “Dreamers,” immigrants who grew up in the United States are in limbo, unsure of what their future holds. The roughly 600,000 current DACA recipients may lose their work permits and deportation protections if the Supreme Court strikes down DACA. Meanwhile, the 1.5 million “Dreamers” without DACA protection are stuck without a path to legal residency in the country they grew up and built a life in.The average DACA recipient came to the United States in 1999 at the age of seven.Progressive Democrats wanted to pass a provision including DACA protections in the social spending bill passed this summer. However, conservative Democrats squashed their attempts, fearing what a controversial issue like immigration would do to their election chances.The issue was put off until after the midterm elections, and now the issue is dead in the water at least until 2024 when Democrats will have a chance to retake the House.Meanwhile, Republicans have made it very clear that immigration and border security will be a priority of theirs once they take power in the House. They have also promised investigations and threatened impeachment for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the southern border, though they have not put forth any accusations that would warrant impeachment.

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deferred action for childhood arrivals (daca), dreamers, immigration

deferred action for childhood arrivals (daca), dreamers, immigration

In October, a 5th Circuit of Appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unconstitutional. The judge allowed current DACA recipients to continue under the program, pending a ruling by the Supreme Court, but blocked future applications.

The $1.7 trillion spending package that was recently introduced in Congress does not include an expansion of or protection for the current DACA program, ending any reasonable hope that the program would be preserved before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January.

The DACA program protects “Dreamers,” immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children. Since its 2012 creation, many of those protected under DACA have grown up, started families of their own, and entered the workforce or started college.

There is a not-unfounded fear that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court will strike down the program entirely.

According to American Progress, there are 300,000 US-born children who depend on at least one DACA recipient parent. An estimated $9.5 billion in taxes are also raised through DACA recipients every year, money that will be lost if DACA ends.

Democrats want to pass the omnibus spending bill, even without protections for “Dreamers,” because they fear what a spending bill led by Republicans might feature, including further anti-immigration policies.

“While I am relieved that this omnibus government spending package didn’t include anti-immigrant provisions, I am incredibly disappointed to see that protections for our nation’s ‘Dreamers’ didn’t make it into the final agreement,” Rep. Lou Correa, a Democrat from California and one of the most outspoken pro-immigration lawmakers, told The Hill.

The spending package will fund the government through fiscal year 2023, which ends on September 30.

Newly-Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina created the framework to protect current DACA recipients; however, it failed to get support from many Democrats because it also included increased interior immigration enforcement. That deal would have put the other 9 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States at greater risk of deportation.

The House has passed two immigration reform bills, but neither is likely to gather the 10 Republican votes needed to overcome the filibuster.

Without the enshrinement of DACA or an expansion to cover all “Dreamers,” immigrants who grew up in the United States are in limbo, unsure of what their future holds. The roughly 600,000 current DACA recipients may lose their work permits and deportation protections if the Supreme Court strikes down DACA. Meanwhile, the 1.5 million “Dreamers” without DACA protection are stuck without a path to legal residency in the country they grew up and built a life in.

The average DACA recipient came to the United States in 1999 at the age of seven.

Progressive Democrats wanted to pass a provision including DACA protections in the social spending bill passed this summer. However, conservative Democrats squashed their attempts, fearing what a controversial issue like immigration would do to their election chances.

The issue was put off until after the midterm elections, and now the issue is dead in the water at least until 2024 when Democrats will have a chance to retake the House.

“This is just another example of the political malpractice that has been waged against our immigrant communities for decades, perpetuating cycles of false hope for millions. We can, and must, pass meaningful immigration reform—and I won’t stop fighting until we fulfill that promise,” said Correa.

Meanwhile, Republicans have made it very clear that immigration and border security will be a priority of theirs once they take power in the House. They have also promised investigations and threatened impeachment for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the southern border, though they have not put forth any accusations that would warrant impeachment.

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