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  • Article: Bills Introduced in Both Chambers Provide Common Sense Solution for Dreamers By Joshua Breisblatt for Immigration Impact

    Bills Introduced in Both Chambers Provide Common Sense Solution for Dreamers


    Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Coons (D-DE) introduced the United and Securing America (U.S.A) Act in the Senate this week, which includes a permanent solution for Dreamers as well as border security measures.

    While the recently released White House immigration framework has not enjoyed bipartisan support, versions of this bill in the House of Representatives and Senate have backing from both Democrats and Republicans. This indicates that a narrower approach has the best chance at passage.

    The timing of this bipartisan legislation is significant, as it may represent the first real effort by Senate Republicans to bring an immigration bill to the floor to save Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients after their promise to do so during last month’s government shutdown.

    In exchange for ending the government shutdown in January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised he would bring an immigration bill to the floor that “would address DACA and border security, as well as other related issues.” However, McConnell has not indicated which bill he will bring to the floor.

    The White House urged Senator McConnell to turn their immigration framework into legislation, but that proposal has the support of few Republicans.

    White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Tuesday he “doubts” President Trump will extend the March 5 deadline set after the DACA termination, underscoring the need for an immediate solution.

    The U.S.A. Act would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who were brought to this country before the age of 18. Other requirements for Dreamers would include arrival to the United States before January 1, 2014, passing a background check, and meeting certain educational requirements.

    On border security, the bill takes a more strategic approach than its partisan counterparts, requiring a comprehensive border strategy be in place by 2020.

    The bill would also increase the number of immigration judges and provide funding to countries in Central America to help them counteract the violence that has led so many families and children to flee in recent years.

    A version of this bill was also introduced in the House last month by Representatives Aguilar (D-CA) and Hurd (R-TX) with 50 co-sponsors, evenly split among Democrats and Republicans.

    The president’s immigration framework that drastically reshapes our immigration system does not have the support of Congress—however, a bill that focuses on protecting Dreamers and strategic border security does.

    About The Author

    Joshua Breisblatt is a Policy Analyst at the American Immigration Council. Prior to joining the Council he worked at the National Immigration Forum for over four years where he was Manager of Advocacy and Policy. In that role, Josh was the Forum’s main point of contact with U.S. government agencies and the U.S. Congress. He also specialized in border issues, including enforcement, civil rights, oversight of Customs and Border Protection, and trade and commerce at U.S. ports of entry. Josh earned his J.D. from The George Washington University School Law and his B.S. from Arizona State University. Prior to attending law school, he worked for Former Congressman Harry Mitchell from Arizona.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      Joshua says this is a common sense solution for Dreamers. Really? He also says that, "On border security, the bill takes a more strategic approach than its partisan counterparts, requiring a comprehensive border strategy be in place by 2020." In other words, do nothing. How is that a common sense offer? And what about the Diversity Visa Program and chain migration? Does the bill include concessions on those pillars of Trump's framework?

      Piddling around with bills like this that have no chance at all of being enacted shows a complete lack of concern for the plight of the Dreamers. Trump's was right when he said that the Democrats don’t want to make a deal. They could have passed a DREAM Act during Barack Obama’s administration. From January 2009 to January 2011, they had a large majority in the House, and until Scott Brown’s special election in 2010, they had a supermajority in the Senate. They passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate. http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...mp-not-schumer

      Nolan Rappaport
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