The President had a discussion with some Senators before he departed for Asia. He managed to throw a monkey wrench into the current DACA discussions by telling Senators they should not include DACA into a final budget deal in December. They made a statement after the meeting saying they would not attach a DACA fix to any year-ending spending bill. Instead they want to wait until next year.
Some Republicans have been talking up the possibility of a major immigration bill in 2018. That would appear to move a DACA fix very close to the March expiration. Even if the President extends his repeal deadline, that would play with the lives of thousands of young people. It’s also likely that a battle over a major reform of immigration would make the debates of the ACA and the upcoming tax reform package look more like a party.
Some Senate Democrats led by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) are saying that they will not vote for any spending deal that does not include a DACA fix. If that number of Democrats grows then there could be a confrontation resulting in a December government shutdown.
The DREAM Act, S. 1615, would offer a pathway to lawful permanent residency for an estimated 1.7 million so-called DREAMers, according to a recent analysis by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute. The DREAM Act would provide the pathway to legal status for people covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States at a young age.
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.