Republicans are willing to shut down the government over DACA. Something has to be done and neither party wants to give up on what was promised to voters. But as a humanitarian and financial crisis looms with a deadline, it is increasingly uncertain if a compromise is even possible.
The White House made an attempt to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), last fall, leaving people scrambling to submit applications and get paperwork in order. However, a judge in California has mandated that while the program is being reviewed, the government must continue receiving applications. This has left many uncertain of their future as they work to try to secure the funds to apply and knowing that any day could be the last day for submitting applications.
The White House has most recently proposed a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, but only if the Democrats will sign off on 25 billion dollars of funding for “The Wall.” One of Trump’s key campaign promises was to build and fortify a border wall between Texas and Mexico, a promise that has so far gone unfulfilled.The proposal also attempts to close “legal loopholes,” primarily in deporting immigrants from non-bordering countries. Most alarming, the proposal aims to limit legal immigration by 50%, eliminating certain forms of family reunification. This proposal simply will not work for the Democrats. “The Wall” is an expensive, economically and environmentally devastating proposal and this “compromise” does not do enough for those seeking citizenship.
Something, ultimately, has to be done regarding the precarious status 1.8 million people who were brought to the US as children. The two options on the table are renewing DACA, which is a stop-gap toward a larger issue, where minors who were brought to the US can apply for deferred action, meaning that they can work, live, and attend school in the US, but not receive government benefits or voting rights. The other option is to pass the DREAM Act, which would provide conditional permanent residency to those pursuing educational opportunities and those in the military. This would also provide a pathway to citizenship.
The way to move forward is to stand firm as 1.8 million people cannot continue to live in limbo, subjected to the whims of an administration refusing to take action. These people are hardworking and passionate, and for many, the United States is the only home they have ever known. The choice is up to the governing party, but we are in for a rocky few weeks or months if the government shuts down over this issue.
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