Leila Fajardo-Giles was scheduled to receive her law degree from Suffolk University Law School this week, but she’s already chosen the path she’ll be focusing on in her new legal career: immigration. Fajardo-Giles is a dreamer, one of the hundreds of thousands of young people whose future remains cloudy because of the ongoing legal and political battles regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by the Obama administration that is under siege from his successor. During her last year at Suffolk, Fajardo-Giles got some valuable experience working for the university’s immigration clinic, and helped a teenager gain asylum status. Read more about her ambitious plans at The Boston Globe.
A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was “arbitrary and capricious,” and the program should be restarted. NPR reports that US District Judge John D. Bates gave the administration 90 days to “better explain its view” that the DACA program is illegal. You can read Judge Bates’ decision here.
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted that there would be “NO MORE DACA DEAL” and blamed the failure on Democrats. At CNN, attorney Raul Reyes writes that Trump is ignorant of the nation’s immigration laws, pointing out that it was Trump himself who ended DACA in September of last year. Reyes says there has never been any realistic chance that a DACA deal could be struck. Read more about Reyes’ opinion at CNN.
The Washington Post also has analysis of Trump’s threats to DACA and how it reflects his presidency.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the news a lot lately, and not always in a good light. Does the US need a mass deportation strike force? A civil rights lawyer who’s running for Congress doesn’t think so. In an interview with The Nation, Dan Canon says he believes ICE should be abolished. “I don’t think a lot of people have any kind of direct experience with ICE, so they don’t really know what they do or what they’re about. If they did, they’d be appalled,” Canon told The Nation. He says ICE is “devoted almost solely to cruelly and wantonly breaking up families. The agency talks about, and treats, human beings like they’re animals.” Read more about Canon’s argument at The Nation.
Leezia Dhalla is a ‘dreamer,’ one of thousands of immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Her legal protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals run out in less than two months. She has lived in the US for 22 years, immigrating to Texas in 1996, but unless Congress does something soon to decide what will happen to her and other ‘dreamers,’ Dhalla will be forced to leave the nation she loves, as she told The Washington Post:
My employer will have to let me go; I won’t have a way to pay my rent; my family and friends will be inconsolable, knowing that I can be deported at any time. They’re the ones whose lives will be disrupted, alongside mine, if I’m deported to a country I barely remember. After 22 years of living the United States, my future — and the futures of about 800,000 young Americans like me — is in total limbo.
Dhalla says it’s an understatement to say that she and other ‘dreamers’ are disappointed in the lack of action by politicians to resolve the crisis. Read more about her personal story at The Washington Post.
While a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress aims to address two of the more pressing issues on immigration, a path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’ and spending more on border security along the Mexican border with the US, the proposal may not have a good chance of getting President Trump’s signature. If Washington is unable to agree on a solution to the expiration of the DACA program in March, one immigration advocate is calling on cities, counties and states to find the courage to stand up to the Trump administration’s tougher policies and actions on immigration. Juan Escalante says with some states like Florida considering their own stricter immigration legislation, more states need to step up on behalf of dreamers like New York, New Jersey and California. You can read more in Escalante’s column at HuffPost.
As lawmakers in Washington continue to wrangle over the best possible solution for ‘dreamers,’ or undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children, columnist Ryan Cooper suggests at The Week that the best solution may also be the simplest: complete amnesty. While some conservative critics have derided President Trump as “Amnesty Don” for his administration’s offer to make a DACA deal in exchange for limits on legal immigration, Cooper says the pathway to citizenship for dreamers may be the easiest:
Therefore, I would like to offer a contrary bold argument: All unauthorized immigrants, and all residents with some form of temporary permit, should be immediately granted permanent legal status.
A compromise plan on immigration that would affect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and border security has been unveiled by a bipartisan pair of House members, CNN reports. Texas Republican Will Hurd and California Democrat Pete Aguilar have been “quietly working for weeks” on the legislation, according to CNN. Both Representatives say they hope their proposal can speed up talks revolving around how to handle “Dreamers,” or young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children.
Starting next March, almost 1,000 people per day could begin losing their protected status as their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permits begin expiring after two years, CNN reports. Congress is considering four possible replacements for the DACA which would allow qualified applicants a chance to stay in the country legally. CNN takes a look at the four proposals in this story.
After the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in March, it said it would continue to process pending and renewal applications received through Thursday, October 4, according to the Los Angeles Times. With that deadline looming, law firms and legal clinics are scrambling to submit paperwork before time runs out. “We basically are in emergency mode,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. Meanwhile, attorneys are warning their ‘dreamer’ clients to prepare for worst case scenarios. The ‘dreamer’ program was created by President Obama in 2012 to allow young immigrants brought to the US illegally to secure work permits and temporary reprieves from deportation.