Congress must address immigration reform now — Letter

Claudine Rigal
Septembre 14, 2017

"Instead, the exact opposite happened. The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the country soared, from an estimated 5 million in 1986 to 11.1 million today".

Legal experts say attorneys general have a long road ahead of them.

It's unclear how Congress will address DACA and, as a result, recipients' statuses.

Obama proved to be more aggressive than Bush.

DACA - the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program - basically skirts immigration laws on behalf of the children of illegal immigrants. They say former president Barack Obama's DACA program was unconstitutional. In 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said as much, and last year the U.S. Supreme Court kept the brakes in place.

It isn't hard. They merely draft a bill that legalizes DACA, call for a vote, send the passed bill on to the Senate where the Senate should pass it and then send it to President Trump for his signature.

Even if Congress can't get its act together to pass comprehensive immigration reform, it can authorize DACA, which enjoys bipartisan support. GOP leaders had urged an 18-month extension that would have kicked the issue beyond the 2018 mid-term elections, saving vulnerable incumbents from a difficult vote in December.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this week that the program known as DACA will be rescinded within six months.

Another study by CAP found that a repeal could cost about 700,000 DACA recipients their jobs and employers $6.3 billion in employee turnover costs. What about the Dreamers? "He is at once taking responsibility for an action that has a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of lives, and absolving himself but giving Congress ambiguous guidance".

Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said the department is ready to defend itself.

Trump's critics have slammed him for lacking compassion.

But just because the attorney general made the announcement doesn't mean DACA is done for. Now their futures are in turmoil.

The states challenging the move are New Mexico, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. The Republicans will need their votes to pass the debt-ceiling and government spending bills in December, but those same dynamics also exist this month, leaving some Democrats scratching their heads about the delay. While empathy is a virtue for those who deal with pastoral issues, it is not a sufficient attribute for governing.

Mr Trump has put his Republican colleagues in Congress in a very unusual position, says American Studies professor Glenn Altschuler, from Cornell University. He should. Penalizing the Dreamers because of the ineptitude of the Republicans and Democrats is indefensible. "I'm asking you who's throwing the life-vest?" The government is "going to have to go through us to get that person", Smith said in a NPR interview. It would be shortsighted and against our own interest to simply (and cruelly) "throw them away".

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization.

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