DACA and Immigration


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DACA: Recent Development
DACA Facts
Key Facts About Immigration
Key Facts About Family-Based Immigration
Facts About the Diversity Visa Lottery
Facts About U.S.-Mexico Border Security and the “Wall”
Nonpartisan Reports on Immigration (Chronological)

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals):  Recent Developments

  • CURRENT STATUS:  Although the Trump Administration had planned to let DACA protections expire beginning March 5, 2018, judges in California and New York have issued temporary injunctions to keep DACA in place for people already in the program.  The injunctions do not, however,  help people who qualified for DACA but did not apply before Sept. 5, 2017.
  • Feb. 27:  Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced a (“three-for-three”) bill (S. 2464) to extend DACA for three years and provide $7.6 billion for the border wall and other security.
  • Feb. 26: The Supreme Court let the injunctions remain in place, turning down the Administration’s request to lift the injunctions.
    • The Supreme Court action does not resolve the merits of the case;  rather, it means the case will proceed through the normal appeals process and will not reach the Supreme Court until its next term, which begins in October 2018. 
    • Bottom line: the lower court injunctions remain in place, and DACA renewals will remain open, probably into next year.
  • Feb. 15:  After months of negotiations on DACA, border security, and immigration, the Senate voted down two bipartisan plans and soundly defeated the Trump Administration proposal, and then left town for the President’s Day recess.
    • The Senate rejected the President’s immigration plan 39-60 that called for:
    • The bipartisan plan by the “common sense caucus” failed 54-45, short of the required 60 votes, after the White House launched a full scale attack on the plan.  The bipartisan plan would have:
      • included Trump’s offer to grant legal status to 1.8 million young immigrants;
      • appropriated $25 billion for southern border security construction over a decade — although not front-loaded as Trump is demanding;
      • curbed family-based immigration, but not to the extent Trump is seeking; and
      • would have retained the diversity visa lottery program Trump wants eliminated.
    • The McCain-Coons bipartisan plan, a more limited approach to grant legal status to Dreamers and provide funds for border security, failed 52-47, short of the required 60 votes.
  • Feb. 14: Washington Post reported that a bipartisan group of Senators–led by Senators Rounds (R-SD), Collins (R-ME), Manchin (D-WV), Graham (R-SC), and Kaine (D-VA)–has reached a deal on immigration, that meets some, but not all, of the President’s conditions–leading to strong White House opposition.  The Senate will vote Thursday on the bipartisan plan; the Trump plan; the McCain-Coons bipartisan plan to grant legal status to Dreamers and provide funds for border security; and an amendment to “punish” sanctuary cities.  According to the report, the plan would:
    • include Trump’s offer to grant legal status to 1.8 million young immigrants;
    • would appropriate $25 billion for southern border security construction over a decade — although not immediately as Trump is demanding;
    • would curb family-based immigration, but not to the extent Trump is seeking; and
    • would keep in place the diversity visa lottery program Trump wants eliminated.
  • Feb 13:  SECOND INJUNCTION ISSUED – Federal District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn, New York ruled that the Administration must continue processing DACA renewals.  Background
  • Feb. 12:  Senators Grassley, Cotton, Cornyn, Tillis, Perdue, Lankford, and Ernst will introduce a bill on Monday that mirrors the President’s 4-part proposal (see Jan. 25 below)
  • Feb. 6: No DACA Extension – Politico reports that White House Chief of Staff Kelly made the assertion that President Trump lacks the authority to extend his own March 5 deadline for Congress to enact DACA legislation.
  • Feb. 5:  Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Coons (D-DE) offered bipartisan starting point with path to citizenship for “dreamers” and border security measures but White House immediately rejected the proposal due to no funding for “desperately needed WALL.”  Details
  • Feb. 3: Putting a face on the “Dreamers” – PBS Newshour Weekend
  • Jan. 25: White House counter-offer proposed:
  • Jan. 23:  White House press secretary Sanders rejected the bipartisan Graham-Durbin Senate DACA compromise as “totally unacceptable to the president and should be declared dead on arrival.”
  • Jan. 22:  The McConnell commitment on DACA: “Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on Feb. 8, so long as the government remains open, it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security and related issues as well as disaster relief….this immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that is fair to all sides.”
  • Jan. 18: Trump administration filed a brief at the Supreme Court asking the justices to lift the injunction.
  • Jan. 9, 2018:  INJUNCTION ISSUED:  Federal judge William Alsup in California issued an injunction against the administration’s plans to terminate the DACA program, although the Administration is not required to process new applications for DACA protection.  The judge’s ruling came in a challenge to the Department of Homeland Security brought by the University of California and others.  Background article
  • Sept. 5, 2017 – DACA TERMINATION ANNOUNCED:  (Excerpt from nonpartisan Congressional Research Service:) Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama Administration initiative, was being rescinded. A related memorandum released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that same day rescinded the 2012 memorandum that established the DACA process.
    • DACA was created to provide temporary relief from removal from the United States for individuals without a lawful immigration status who were brought to the United States as children and met other criteria.
    • Under the DACA process, both initial grants of deferred action and renewals are issued for a period of two years.
    • In addition to rescinding the 2012 DACA memorandum, the September 2017 memorandum states that DHS will “execute a wind-down” of DACA, during which it will “adjudicate certain requests for DACA and associated applications meeting certain parameters.” These requests include initial and renewal requests for DACA accepted by DHS by September 5, 2017, and renewal requests from current DACA beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, and whose renewal requests are accepted by DHS by October 5, 2017.
    • The memorandum also states that DHS will not terminate previously issued grants of deferred action or employment authorization “solely based on the directives in this memorandum.”
    • Background: NYTimes – Trump Moves to End DACA

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The Facts About DACA

  • What is DACA?  In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began granting “deferred action” — protection from deportation — through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to individuals without lawful immigration status who had arrived in the United States as children (before age 16).
  • Americans overwhelmingly favor DACA:  January 2018 CBS News poll found that 87 percent of Americans favor allowing young immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children to remain.
  • DACA does not grant citizenship:  “Deferred action” only provides protection against removal from the U.S.   DACA recipients are not granted lawful immigration status and are not put on a pathway to a citizenship.
    • Individuals granted deferred action also may receive work authorization.
    • Initial grants of deferred action under DACA were for two years and could be renewed in two-year increments.
  • DACA impacts 690,000 young people who grew up in America:  According to the Pew Research Center, as of September 2017, there were 690,000 unauthorized immigrants enrolled in DACA.
  • Trump Administration termination of DACA takes effect March 5, 2018 On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced plans to terminate the DACA program.  Under the Administration’s plan, a beneficiary whose period of deferred action expires after March 5, 2018, will lose DACA protection from deportation, although judges in California and New York have issued temporary injunctions to keep DACA in place for Dreamers already in the program.
  • Legislation Proposed to Enact DACA: A number of bills have been introduced in the 115th Congress to provide immigration relief to DACA beneficiaries, but House and Senate Leaders have not permitted a vote.  Click here for details on legislation.
  • Nonpartisan Reports about DACA:

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Key Facts About Immigration

  • Link to key findings about U.S. immigrants (Pew)Excerpts:
  • U.S. has more immigrants:  The U.S. has more immigrants than any other country in the world.  More than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in another country, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants in 2015.
  • Diverse:  The population of immigrants is also very diverse, with just about every country in the world represented among U.S. immigrants.  By region of birth, immigrants from South and East Asia combined accounted for 27% of all immigrants, a share equal to that of Mexico. Other regions make up smaller shares: Europe/Canada (14%), the Caribbean (10%), Central America (8%), South America (7%), the Middle East (4%) and sub-Saharan Africa (4%).
  • Immigrants as share of population: Immigrants today account for 13.4% of the U.S. population, nearly triple the share (4.7%) in 1970. However, today’s immigrant share remains below the record 14.8% share in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants lived in the U.S.
  • Most are Legal:  Most immigrants (76%) are in the country legally, while a quarter are unauthorized.
  • Countries of origin:  About 1 million immigrants arrive in the U.S. each year. In 2015, the top country of origin for new immigrants coming into the U.S. was India, with 110,000 people, followed by Mexico (109,000), China (90,000) and Canada (35,000).
  • Refugees:  Since the creation of the federal Refugee Resettlement Program in 1980, have been resettled in the U.S – more than any other country.
  • Where do immigrants live?  Roughly half (46%) of the nation’s 43.2 million immigrants live in just three states: California (25%), Texas (11%) and New York (10%).
  • Immigrant employment:  In 2014, about 27 million immigrants were working in the U.S., making up some 17% of the total civilian labor force.
  • Majority of deportations not convicted of a crime:  Overall, the Obama administration deported about 3 million immigrants between 2009 and 2016, a significantly higher number than the 2 million immigrants deported by the Bush administration between 2001 and 2008. From 2001 to 2015, a majority (60%) of immigrants deported have not been convicted of a crime.
  • Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border:  The number of apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border has sharply decreased over the past decade, from more than 1 million in fiscal 2006 to 408,870 in fiscal 2016.  Today, more non-Mexicans than Mexicans are apprehended at the border. In fiscal 2016, the apprehensions of Central Americans at the border exceeded that of Mexicans for the second time on record.
  • How do Americans view immigrants?  Six-in-ten Americans (63%) say immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents,” while just over a quarter (27%) say immigrants burden the country by taking jobs, housing and health care.
  • Immigration levels:  Americans were divided on future levels of immigration. Nearly half said immigration to the U.S. should be decreased (49%), while one-third (34%) said immigration should be kept at its present level and just 15% said immigration should be increased.

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Facts About Family-Based Immigration

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Facts About the Diversity Visa Lottery

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Facts About U.S.-Mexico Border Security and the “Wall”

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Nonpartisan Reports on Immigration (Chronological)

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