As leaders met at the White House it became no clearer whether young people effected by the President’s repeal of DACA will get relief by the end of 2017. On Tuesday, December 5 a letter was sent to the Speaker by 34 House Republicans calling for action on DACA by the end of this year. The letter was led by Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA). It said in part,
“We write in support of passing of a permanent legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the end of the year.”
They then go on to outline the important contribution “dreamers” offer to the country, how they agree the original executive order was not the proper route for action and then close with, “While we firmly believe Congress must work to address other issues within our broken immigration system, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats come together to solve this problem now and not wait until next year.”
A total of 34 House Republicans willing to vote to act this month should give the Speaker enough leeway to act but there are prominent Republicans including the President saying they do not want to act this year. Last week Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced their own bill to replace DACA but it was limited to three years of protection, no path to citizenship, boarder security measures and actions against “sanctuary” cities. Some Republican Senators including Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) expressed some concerns about the legislation.
At the same time there is some pressure on Congressional Democrats to get a deal as part of any year end package.
The DREAM Act, S. 1615, would offer a pathway to lawful permanent residency for an estimated 1.7 million DREamers.
A new resource is available through the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, an interactive CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT map that can show the estimated number of Dream Act eligible individuals by district.
According to a recent survey, 97 percent of DACA recipients are currently employed or enrolled in school. More than a third of Dreamers are between the ages of 16 and 20. A Center for American Progress analysis, based on a survey of more than 3,000 DACA recipients in 46 states (the largest survey of DACA recipients to date), found that 45 percent of them are in school, and of those who are in school, 72 percent are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.