Earlier this month, White House insiders floated the idea of an immigration deal: a lasting solution for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—an Obama-era program that provides temporary work permits to young undocumented immigrants program—in exchange for the Trump administration’s controversial wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly rebuffed talks of such a deal, arguing that funding for the border wall and legal protections for “DREAMers” (named after the failed DREAM Act, a bill that would’ve granted relief against deportation to immigrants who entered the country as minors) are two separate issues that cannot be lumped together.
Publicly, President Trump said he was not in the mood to negotiate over DACA. Sources from within the White House say the administration is instead waiting for the Supreme Court to finally rule on its challenge to DACA. But things could be much different behind the scenes, with advisors like Jared Kushner reportedly reaching out to House Democrats to offer some kind of DACA deal.
Kushner, however, stressed that any discussions about DACA that he has been a part of have merely been an attempt to engage Congressional Democrats as well Republican lawmakers like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the few in the GOP who takes a more moderate approach to immigration.
While Graham and other members of Congress are reportedly open to the idea of finally fixing DACA with legislation and ending the shutdown, the senator notes that these proposals are still in the “infant stage.”
Of course, the catch to any such deal is that Congress would have to greenlight the colossal amounts of money Trump proposed pouring into border security.
The White House specifically wants the following:
- $5.7 billion for the wall
- $675 million for drug detection technology
- $130 million for canine units
- $800 million for humanitarian assistance
- $782 million to hire 2,750 more border agents
- $563 million for 75 new immigration judges
DREAMers, on the other hand, issued a swift reminder to House Democrats urging them to use their majority position to stand firm when it comes to immigration rights. But how far liberal lawmakers are willing to take this fight remains to be seen.
The 2018-2019 government shutdown has just passed the one-month mark, making it the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
If you or a loved one are a DACA beneficiary and want to discuss your legal options should the worst happen, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact our offices at (512) 215-5225 to schedule a consultation with Austin immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.