Senate Democrats Want a Vote on Permanent Citizenship Solution for Dreamers

June 25, 2020 by Sara Wilkerson
Protesters rally on the steps of the Supreme Court to Defend DACA. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Senate Democratic caucus has sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, urging him to bring the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act, which grants citizenship to so-called dreamers and certain other classes of immigrants, to the Senate floor for a vote.

The caucus letter was delivered to McConnell in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this month that President Donald Trump had violated the Administrative Procedures Act in his attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, better known as DACA.

The letter-writing effort was spearheaded by Senate Democratic Whip and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who originally authored the Dream and Promise Act. 

The letter’s central argument is that while the Supreme Court’s ruling granted a temporary reprieve to hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, who, the authors state, “are American in every way except for their immigration status,” their ultimate fate is still very much unknown.”

The writers go on to note that the Dreamers — a population composed of individuals brought into the United States illegally when they were children — currently serve the country as “soldiers, nurses, teachers, and small business owners, and in many other ways.” 

They also point out that an estimated 41,700 Dreamers work in the healthcare field, placing them on the front lines of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter urges, “Congress must take action to ensure these essential workers are not deported to countries they barely remember even as our nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was announced by President Barack Obama in 2012.

It allows young people brought to the United States as children to apply for a temporary status that shields them from deportation and allows them to work. The status lasts for two years and is renewable, but it does not provide a path to citizenship.

Thursday’s ruling was a blow to President Trump as it derails one of his main campaign promises from 2016: that he would immediately terminate the program by executive order.

Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., wrote the majority opinion, calling this action “arbitrary and capricious.”

President Trump wasted no time responding to the decision via Twitter.

“These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives,” he wrote.”We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!”

The Senate Democrats picked up the political gauntlet Trump threw down, reminding McConnell in this election year that he has yet to bring “a single immigration bill to the floor of the Senate.”

“It’s not too late to change course,” they said.

“It would be an American tragedy to deport DACA recipients who are saving lives in the midst of this pandemic,” the authors concluded. “We must ensure these talented young immigrants are not forced to stop working when the need for their public service has never been greater. And we must give them the chance they deserve to become American citizens.” 

In The News

Health

Voting

Immigration

Biden and Congressional Democrats to Unveil Immigration Bill
Immigration
Biden and Congressional Democrats to Unveil Immigration Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is joining Democrats on Capitol Hill to unveil a major immigration overhaul that would offer an eight-year pathway to citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status.The legislation, to be released in detail... Read More

White House Urges Asylum-Seekers to Be Patient As Start of Processing Begins
Immigration
White House Urges Asylum-Seekers to Be Patient As Start of Processing Begins
February 16, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - The White House urged asylum-seekers to be patient and to abide by proper procedures as the United States readies itself to begin processing their claims on Friday. In a joint statement released Tuesday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall,... Read More

Some Asylum-Seekers Waiting in Mexico to Be Allowed in US
Immigration
Some Asylum-Seekers Waiting in Mexico to Be Allowed in US

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday announced plans for tens of thousands of asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico for their next immigration court hearings to be allowed into the United States while their cases proceed.The first of an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers in Mexico with... Read More

Biden Signs Immigration Orders as Congress Awaits More
Immigration
Biden Signs Immigration Orders as Congress Awaits More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed a second spate of orders to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, demonstrating the powers of the White House and its limitations without support from Congress. His orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration bring to nine the... Read More

Biden Expands Quick Bid to Undo Trump’s Immigration Policies
Immigration
Biden Expands Quick Bid to Undo Trump’s Immigration Policies

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration on Tuesday announced steps to address harm to thousands of families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanding efforts to quickly undo relentless changes to immigration policy over the last four years. President Joe Biden planned to sign... Read More

Trump-Appointed Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Deportation Plan
Immigration
Trump-Appointed Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Deportation Plan
January 29, 2021
by Dan McCue

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked a Biden administration plan to impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, granted a temporary restraining order sought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The court order will... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top