A silent Congress seems to forget the Dreamers
After the decisions of two lower Courts against the suspension of the DACA program, the Congress is now without a deadline and has moved on to other issues, leaving almost 800,000 undocumented youth without a definitive solution.
If you have followed closely the national news during the last few days, you may have noticed that the Dreamers, DACA, and the immigration debate have moved on to a second (if not, last) place in the government's interests.
After two lower courts ruled that the suspension of the DACA program by the government was "unconstitutional" and allowed the temporary continuation of immigration relief for undocumented youth arriving in the country when they were minors, Congress seems to have forgotten that the matter is not yet resolved.
As reported by the Washington Post, in a meeting during the morning of Tuesday, only one of the five Republican leaders of the House made reference to the issue of immigration. A few hours later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) held his weekly briefing, covering issues ranging from gun control to the Olympic Winter Games, completely ignoring DACA and the immigration debate.
While it is understandable that the attention of the country focused on the massacre that occurred on February 14 at a high school in Parkland (Florida), few seem to remember that this was the key week to resolve the suspension of the Deferred Action program whose date of expiration imposed by President Trump is March 5.
According to one of the Republican leaders who led the bipartisan discussions, Senator John Cornyn (Texas), "we would be well advised to continue our work on it, but it seems to me that a lot of the air is out of the balloon here in the Capitol, and people don’t sense its urgency," he said according to the Post.
The debate is then, once again, in limbo.
As reported by the Mexican newspaper Excelsior (in Spanish), 11 thousand people have requested the renewal of the program in the weeks following the decisions of the minor courts, and are still awaiting the response of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, new statistics have shown that the government has kept thousands of applications to the program frozen since last September.
Simultaneously, and according to the newspaper La Opinión (in Spanish), the Republican senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, and the Democratic senator from North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp, keep working "behind the scenes" in a proposal that aims "to extend the program at least three years, and include some $7.6 billion for border security."
But any proposal that doesn’t include the wishes of the president will find once again the wall of his intransigence.
According to the White House spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferré, to La Opinión: "The president has clearly said that he wants to give a path towards legality, towards citizenship to the beneficiaries of DACA," arguing that it is a "very generous proposal", but that will need to comply with the four migratory pillars demanded by the tycoon.
For its part, for the Hispanic Caucus in Congress, this is a clear sabotage by President Trump.
In a letter sent to the government, the group of Hispanic representatives has blamed the president for having "thwarted every bipartisan, narrow agreement that seeks to provide relief to the Dreamers and instead has attempted to force a deeply unpopular, anti-immigrant agenda through Congress".
This legislative apathy only shows that, in a year where every vote counts, the priority of Congress will always be in matters that arouse favoritism, once again forgetting those who need its leadership the most.