Tuesday, May 28, 2024

With midterms approaching, the future of DACA more uncertain than ever.


Action to protect so-called Dreamers from deportation has stalled indefinitely, with neither President Trump nor Democrats and Republicans in Congress feeling pressure to compromise as the midterm elections approach.

“A lot of the air is out of the balloon here in the Capitol and people don’t sense its urgency,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said this week. “We don’t do things around here unless there’s a deadline.”

The nearly 2 million DREAMers remain at some risk of deportation despite the Supreme Court essentially nullifying Trump’s March 5 deadline to end the DACA program implemented by President Obama.

Crafting consensus immigration legislation has proven virtually impossible over the years under the best of political circumstances. With the midterm elections approaching in eight months, chances for a DACA deal are increasingly remote since these elections are about maximizing turnout by activating their bases and neither side is inclined to jeopardize re-election by taking an uncertain vote on a hot-button issue such as immigration legislation.

Trump has proposed legalizing DREAMers in exchange for billions in funding for a security wall along the southern border and changes to multiple U.S. immigration policies, but many senators both Republican and Democrat agree that the problem lies with Trump and his habit of moving the goalposts.

“[Trump] said he would sign a Dreamer and border deal, he said he would sign what Congress [passed,] and he even said he’d take the heat if his own base was upset. But since then, he’s rejected five different bipartisan deals,” added Todd Schulte, a Democratic operative who leads the pro-immigration group, FWD.us.