They grew up here, went to school here, work here, pay taxes here, raise their own children here – let them become citizens. That’s the gist of the latest Dream Act, unveiled Tuesday (July 20) by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). According to their one-page summary:
The Dream Act would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they:
• Are longtime residents who came to the U.S. as children;
• Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;
• Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least 3 years, or serve in the military;
• Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;
• Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and
• Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.
The bill, a successor to about a dozen earlier Dream Acts introduced since 2001, details a path to legal residence and, eventually, citizenship for young people brought here by their parents years ago. Despite Trump saying last week that Congress should solve the problem of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients through legislation, his aides said he would oppose the Dream Act legislation.
DACA faces a legal challenge by a group of states led by Texas, with a threat to push ahead on that challenge on September 5, unless the president halts DACA. It’s not clear whether the administration would instruct the attorney general to defend DACA.
Here is the draft of a new ‘DREAM Act’ that Trump is already rejecting (McClatchey, 7/20/17)
“These kids are running out of asphalt. They’re running out of runway,” Graham of South Carolina said Thursday when announcing the legislation. “They came out of the shadows at the invitation of their government. They’ve identified themselves and their legal standing is now in question. It becomes an almost moral decision.”
Trump’s Sympathy For Dreamers Doesn’t Extend To Actual Legislation To Help Them (Huffington Post, 7/20/17)
“Graham said he thinks many Republicans would be in favor of allowing Dreamers to stay, especially if Kelly presented them with a plan to secure the border and deport criminals and other bad actors. If Trump assured the public the border was secure, Graham said, Republicans would believe him and be more willing to move forward.”
Valdez: Does this new, bipartisan Dream Act stand a chance? (Arizona Central, 7/19/17)
“Bipartisan compassion. Believe it or not.
“Can this thin vapor survive in an atmosphere thick with the venomous smoke of far-right wrath?
“The future of hundreds of thousands of young people depend on its survival. So does the soul of a great country.”
“The question for the Republican Party is, what do we tell these people? How do we treat them? Here’s my answer. We treat them fairly. We do not pull the rug out from under them,” Graham said, adding those immigrants, “are no more connected with a foreign country than I am.”
“So to President Trump, you’re going to have to make a decision,” Graham said. “The campaign is over. To the Republican Party, who are we? What do we believe? The moment of reckoning is coming. When they write the history of these times, I’m going to be with these kids.”
And in other immigration news
Austin Human Rights Commission releases ‘welcoming report,’ based on six-month long survey (Austin Daily Herald, 7/17/17) Austin is 23 percent “non-white,” up from 2 percent in 1990, and students in Austin Public Schools speak 47 different languages.
“Austin’s future success depends on maximizing the potential of all residents,” Baskin said….
“Key stakeholders are embracing diversity – the city government, schools, employers and non-profits have expressed support and taken actions to make Austin a welcoming city.”
“The practice is so widespread that half of New York City’s 30 immigration judges have been temporarily reassigned for two-to-four weeks at a time between early April and July.
“The judges have been sent to hear deportation cases in Louisiana, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with Elizabeth, New Jersey, where there’s a detention center. In June, WNYC reported that at least eight of New York City’s immigration judges have been temporarily moved to Texas and Louisiana since March. New information obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request revealed the number to be much higher.
“All this reshuffling causes cases to get delayed for months. And New York City’s immigration court already has a backlog of more than 80,000 cases. “
How to Get Undocumented Immigrants to Beg to be Deported (Newsweek, 7/20/17)
“Brenda Menjivar Guardado, a 21-year-old El Salvadoran national, asked a federal immigration judge to deport her last month.
She doesn’t actually want to go back to El Salvador, according to her attorney. In fact, when she was initially detained in May of this year by Customs and Border Protection, she requested asylum.
“But Guardado’s priorities changed when Immigration and Customs Enforcement took away the insulin she’d been using to treat her type-1 diabetes. As her blood glucose skyrocketed, the U.S. suddenly became a more dangerous place than the country she fled.”
Opinion – Ruben Navarrette: Do-nothing immigration bills (Washington Post, 7/20/17)
“Immigration is a major-league policy challenge. But Congress, having recently passed a pair of bills that will accomplish nothing, is stuck playing in the minors.
“There are many risk-averse members of the legislative branch who prefer simple ideas over doing the hard things that might put them at odds with donors or anger constituents. The result: scores of lawmakers — most often Republicans, but also some Democrats — who haven’t let the fact that they don’t know the first thing about immigration stop them from feeling passionately about the topic.”
Michele Bachmann warns about ‘radical Islam’ (Pioneer Press, 7/20/17) Michele Bachmann is back – and she hasn’t changed a bit.
“They threw us into the street’: Cubans tell of struggles to enter US (The Guardian, 7/20/19)
“I told him: ‘Wait. We’re asking for political asylum, look at my passport.’ And he said they were not accepting Cubans,” said Ana, 49. “They threw us into the street.”
“Ana and Víctor, who preferred not give their surnames, are among an estimated 1,000 Cubans who have arrived in Nuevo Laredo since 12 January, the day Barack Obama ended a policy of preferential treatment for Cuban migrants.”
Donald Trump’s plan to build a solar border wall, explained with math (Vox, 7/20/17) In short: it doesn’t add up.