Trump Unveils New Plan for Dreamers
The Trump administration released on October 9th a set of demands to Congress for the latest plan involving the preservation of America’s Dreamers, a group of young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.
The list included the construction of the long promised border wall, the employment of 10,000 new immigration agents, and a drastic speedup in the number of deportations, according to a New York Times report.
The DREAM Act, an Obama Era regulation protecting young immigrants, was abruptly shut down by Trump in early September. The children and young adults safeguarded under the program face an uncertain future, with many calling on Congress to act as quickly as possible. Thousands of Dreamers may lose permission to work and protection from deportation if a deal is not reached by March.
The hardline proposal by the Trump Administration on October 9th came as a surprise to many, especially after it seemed that a bipartisan effort was forming to protect dreamers. In September, Democratic party leaders Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi met with President Trump on the fate of the DREAM ACT and declared that the framework for a deal had been made.
Now it seems that the prospects of an agreement are in jeopardy. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a joint statement following the president’s latest plan, declaring, “the administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans.”
To further complicate the possibility of a compromise for the Dreamers, President Trump’s new legislative initiative also cracked down on sanctuary cities that protect illegal immigrants. These cities, from New York to Los Angeles, limit how local law enforcement can work with the national government, specifically federal immigration agents, in an effort to protect undocumented immigrants. The president’s plan attempts to restrict federal funding to these sites as well as make it easier to deport immigrants who overstay their visas.
In another key part of the proposal, the Trump administration seeks to toughen measures against the thousands of children who attempt to cross into the United States each year fleeing poverty, violence, and the drug trade. The White House hopes to deport these young immigrants, many of whom have been sent to stay with close relatives, to prevent more unaccompanied minors from growing up and attempting to receive citizenship.
It appears unlikely that a compromise will be made between the Democrats and President Trump. While protecting the DREAM Act has long been a priority of the party, it is doubtful they will be willing to compromise on the building of a border wall, which has been a central part of the Trump campaign.
As the political battle rages on, roughly 800,000 dreamers are left in limbo, waiting to see what the future holds for them and millions of other immigrants that reside in the United States.