Top lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate say they are making a push to pass permanent protections for young undocumented immigrants in the lame duck session. The vehicle, if any, for passage and what kind of relief it could be are all still unclear.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer both told House Democrats on Tuesday that taking a final shot at codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is a priority,” Houston Chronicle reported. On the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are among lawmakers who joined DACA recipients for a press event Wednesday urging action from Republicans, according to a release received by Daily Kos.
In fact, hundreds of young immigrants and allies are expected to rally at the capitol this week to urge relief. These final weeks may be the last chance for some time to come up with a deal.
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While Democrats will maintain control of the Senate following the victory of Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto (who was also at the Senate press event today) over Big Lie pusher Adam Laxalt, it’s likely Republicans will win an incredibly slim majority in the House. Kevin McCarthy, who has apparently cut some sort of deal with the likes of the detestable Marjorie Taylor Green in order to secure the gavel, has already vowed to right-wing news that he won’t take up any humane immigration legislation if he’s speaker. It’s a promise he likely was forced to reiterate when he groveled to Green.
No one’s pretending trying to pass something is not a long shot, and tired young immigrants and their allies have read headline after headline about action on relief many, many times now. It’s more than a year now since Durbin said he was close to getting the 60 votes needed to overcome the Jim Crow filibuster and advance relief through the Senate. That obviously went nowhere.
But, the circumstances are very different right now compared to a year ago. Democrats performed much better in the 2022 midterms than, well, just about everybody else had predicted. In several battleground states, nativist MAGA Republicans were trounced in a repudiation of Stephen MIller’s hate campaign, with voters from Arizona to Pennsylvania to Nevada making clear in poll after poll that they support a pathway to legalization. It's long past time for Congress to catch up to the American people.
What also adds to the urgency is that a recent ruling from a conservative appeals court in Louisiana makes it clear DACA’s end isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Should DACA end with no permanent relief in place, businesses and business leaders have said estimated 22,000 DACA recipients could lose their work permits every single month.
The hope now is some sort of deal to usher through legislation. Even though the southern border has nothing to do with young immigrants who’ve lived and worked here for years, Senate Republicans will assuredly demand some sort of border security measures be coupled with any proposal. Several progressive Democrats have already urged senators to take up the Dream and Promise Act, which the House has already passed several times before, most recently last year. That bill would provide a pathway to legalization for DACA recipients, as well as temporary status holders.
“This is my third time in D.C. flying to meet with congressmen from both sides of the aisle and they just keep on talking and talking,” 32-year-old DACA recipient Diego Corzo told Austin’s KUT. “I think it’s time that they finally put an importance to find a solution—a long-term solution—for the DACA recipients, for the Dreamers, so that we stop living in limbo.” Greisa Martinez, another DACA recipient and executive director of United We Dream, said she’s “been here many times before.
“I had to face the disappointment and reality to not have the Dream Act,” she said in a tweet from Immigration Hub. “And yet we had a choice: to keep fighting or give in & we kept fighting. Now, 10 years later that same program we fought for is on the precipice of demise.”
There are several action you can take right now to help young immigrants like Diego and Greisa. The Home Is Here campaign has set up a homepage with options ranging from calling Congress, to joining an event near you. Click here to support permanent relief for young undocumented immigrants.
Election Night 2022 was full of surprises—mostly for people pushing the last couple months of traditional media narrative of a "red tsunami." The problem is that Americans are not super into the GOP. Markos and Kerry have been saying the media narrative was wrong for months, and on Tuesday, Daily Kos and The Brief team was validated.
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