Immigration Bills Materialize as Congress Prepares to Consider DACA

October 06, 2017

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) will introduce a proposal that seeks to grant beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) a path to citizenship while directing significant resources toward border security.  The Border Security and Deferred Action Recipient Relief Act will be the second DACA proposal Republicans have introduced.  Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced a measure that would similarly increase funding for border security but apply more stringent requirements on "Dreamers" who want to become U.S. citizens.  The path ahead for such bills has grown uncertain since a meeting last month between Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and President Trump, after which the President signaled that he is willing to sign legislation enshrining DACA protections into law if it is accompanied by measures bolstering border security and immigration enforcement.  Members of a Republican House working group on immigration are reportedly only open to such a deal if it includes funding for a wall.  Complicating the picture, recent reports indicate the White House is expected to send its own proposal to Congress that would limit legal immigration over the next decade and intensify criminal penalties for entering the U.S. illegally.