Student Life

Senators Race to Finalize Dreamer Legislation Before March 5 Deadline

Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 20, 2018

Senators Race to Finalize Dreamer Legislation Before March 5 Deadline
Bipartisan bill hopes to provide Dreamers with legal status.
With the March 5 deadline for the end of DACA looming, Dreamers are literally running out of time for a chance to remain in the U.S. However, two Senators are springing into action by presenting a bipartisan bill to Congress to help save Dreamers. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, and Christopher A. Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, presented a bill on February 5 that would grant permanent legal status to Dreamers as well as heighten security around the U.S. border, according to The Washington Post. Though not the first piece of DACA legislation to be introduced and debated amongst the parties and politicians, McCain and Coons are hoping that their bipartisan approach will provide a clean start to the dialogue and pass the Senate before the deadline. In addition to the Senate bill, the House of Representatives has a similar bipartisan bill with 54 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle.
So what’s the hold up?
Some conservatives as well as President Trump do not want to pass DACA legislation without more funding for a border wall, reports The Washington Post. In fact, shortly after the bill was introduced, President Trump tweeted:
The Senate bill seeks to address the most pressing concerns, writes The Washington Post, which are saving Dreamers and better security at the border. However, the security detailed in the bill is limited to drones and other forms of technology to help monitor the situation. It does not provide funding for Trump’s infamous wall – and that seems to be where the trouble lies. At a time when politics seems so divided, it’s wonderful to see bipartisan support for Dreamers – let’s just hope it’s enough to get the rest of Congress and the President on board before March 5. As always, Fastweb will provide updates on the DACA program, relevant legislation and the fate of Dreamers.
UPDATE: Last week, the Senate spent nearly every day debating DACA and border security, finally voting on a bipartisan bill on Thursday, February 15. However, the bill failed along with a White House bill to increase federal deportation authority and end the diversity visa lottery, according to CNN. It is reported by other Senators that the White House is largely responsible for blocking the bipartisan bill. Fortunately, there is still hope for Dreamers. As it stands now, two court cases in California and New York are blocking the end of DACA on March 5, which is supported by President Trump. The Hill reports that "existing beneficiaries are allowed to apply to renew their two-year DACA permit, which shields them from deportation and allows them to work or go to school in the U.S." The same article also states that Speaker Paul Ryan hopes to vote again -- and resolve -- the issue in March.

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