On Wednesday, September 13, the President and Democratic leaders appeared to line up on a deal that would restore protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) children and youth. The initial description indicated the DACA protections would go hand and hand with greater security funding but no wall against Mexico funding. Within hours however there was push back from the White House and the President himself.
By early morning the President said, “No deal was struck last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.” But later, Air Force One the President indicated they were close to a deal, indicating that boarder wall funding will come “a little bit later.” Later in the afternoon Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said that they did have a deal pointing out the similarities between what had been said by the President and what they were saying. Left out of the initial loop was the Republican leadership not at the White House evening dinner.
Republican leaders have issued some denunciations and some suggestion there are possibilities. Left in the lurch are the children and youth whose lives hang in the balance on whether they could be deported from the only country they have ever really known, the United States.
DACA allows an undocumented young person brought into the country at a young age to stay here if certain conditions are met. More than 780,000 young people have applied for and are covered under the DACA rules. This issue continues to be an ever back-and-forth for Mr. Trump. He had taken a position against continuation but sounded a more sympathetic tone since January.
There are currently four bills in Congress to replace DACA and the National Immigration Law Center has an analysis of how the bills differ but it is the DREAM Act sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and in the House by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), that CWLA has endorsed and is seen as the most desirable of bills because it is closest to past DREAM Act legislation. Here are some resources and information by various organizations:
• From the National Education Association (NEA) 1-800 call to Action alert and NEA Resources for Educators Supporting Dreamers
• From the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) resources
• UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) resources: FAQs
• American Immigration Council Practice Advisory on screening for immigration relief
• Know Your Rights materials
• Stanford Law School and the California Charter Schools Association published a guide on legal obligations to provide education to undocumented students.