DACA Debates: What’s Happening and How You Can Help

President Donald Trump appeared to have changed his tune last week regarding immigration reform. In a bipartisan meeting with legislators on immigration reform at the White House last week, Trump made claims expressing a desire to enact bipartisan immigration reform, which he called a “bill of love”.

This bill would serve to both secure the border and resolve the fate of young unauthorized immigrants whose temporary protection from deportation is expiring. Those impacted by deportation can face similar crisis situations to domestic violence victims, leaving them with no other option than to leave family, and pets, behind. But is this the new Trump, or just a facade?

 

The New York Times covered the meeting last Tuesday in which President Trump “appeared open to negotiating a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship”. Declaring he was willing to “take the heat” politically for an approach which outright contradicts the anti-immigration stance famous for charging his political rise, Mr. Trump agreed to openly consider a framework for a short-term immigration deal to protect young, undocumented immigrants.

President Trump said he would support a two-phase approach to reforming immigration.  to first bolster the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) as well as dramatically increasing border security, and then later address more comprehensive immigration reform, according to Business Insider.

 

While the President’s willingness to “take the heat” in order to foster change is refreshing, what does that mean for those whose lives will most definitely be affected by new legislation?

One report found on the Washington Post’s The Plum Line suggests ignoring President Trump altogether will bring about the quickest and most effective action. Americans are calling for Congress to put aside the differences and opinions held on either side in the name arriving at solutions. “What if we all accept that Democrats think Trump is a racist, Republicans disagree (at least some of them) and then they put that aside and just negotiate a deal anyway — without the president?”

 

If Congress passes this bill, Trump has already made it clear he will sign it regardless of what it contains.

“My positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with. If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them,” Trump said. “What I approve is going to be very much reliant on what the people in this room come to me with. I have great confidence in these people.” [CNBC]

 

Some Congress members fear broadening the scope on immigration issues right now will complicate discussions and debates surrounding DACA. There is a push to pass a “clean DACA bill” with the obligation to dive deeper into comprehensive immigration reform afterward. Congressional Republicans and Democrats are negotiating a shorter-term agreement to extend legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

 

However, real people’s lives are being affected while these decisions unfold.  At least 15,000 Dreamers (young people protected under DACA) have already lost their temporary protection from deportation since the program was wiped out last fall, with that number increasing by more than 100 every day. Help Dreamers hold onto their hopes and aspirations by pushing for Congress to pass a clean Dream Act.