ADEA Issue Watch: Immigration Issues Take Over Spending Talks in Washington
At a bipartisan White House meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, President Trump indicated he’s willing to split the contentious immigration issue in two “phases.” The first would be legislation to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), tighten border security and begin building a wall, limit family preferences for immigration and end or restrict a diversity visa lottery system. The second phase, an attempt at a more comprehensive revamping of the nation’s immigration laws to resolve the status of 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, would be deferred until later. The issue of comprehensive immigration has been heightened as the Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan and Nicaragua make headlines.
The bipartisan meeting may help clear a congressional stalemate that held up action on multiple issues, including a government spending bill, legislation stabilizing the Affordable Care Act, and other measures that stalled in December.
To add to the list of issues to be resolved, on the same day lawmakers met with President Trump, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump Administration’s decision to end the DACA program. U.S. District Judge William H. Alsup granted a request by the State of California and other states to keep DACA going, at least until lawsuits can play out in court. Judge Alsup did not rule on the merits of the case but said the plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm if the Trump Administration ended DACA before the legal dispute is resolved.
It remains unclear when the DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers” could resume applying for renewals of their work permits as a result of the California ruling, which according to the order, applies nationwide.
DACA recipients and their advocates said the recent decision adds new urgency to ongoing negotiations between Congress and the White House for a permanent solution for the young immigrants, who are pushing for a path to citizenship. However, the Trump Administration has already vowed to challenge the ruling.