Republican leaders in Congress are parading around H.R. 6136 as a moderate “compromise” bill, but that could not be further from the truth. The bill:
▪ Fails to provide a permanent path to citizenship for DREAMers and instead establishes a new immigration designation called “contingent non-immigration status.” This is a six-year indefinitely renewable status for DACA recipients that would put them on the pathway to citizenship. However, DREAMers would need to potentially wait up to 23 years to obtain green cards and live legally in the only country most of them have ever known. In addition, there is a funding trigger in the bill that allows DREAMers to be held hostage in future negotiations. The president is allowed to cancel the program if any amount of money allocated for a border wall is ever transferred for other purposes. This is unacceptable and would bring lawmakers right back to the same issue in future immigration discussions.
▪ Fails to solve family separations at the border. It exacerbates the jailing of families and children, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to incarcerate families when charges are filed against a parent for crossing the border without authorization, while such charges remain pending. This does nothing to reverse the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy and means children will still be detained for their parents’ actions. This bill removes protections for families who are not separated at ports of entry. It expands the jailing of families and removes basic protections of their confinement; and it allows children to be detained for longer periods than is permissible under law.
▪ Provides $25 billion for Trump’s border wall despite his repeated claims that he would make Mexico pay for it.
The Republicans need to tell the truth. No more lies.
legislative analyst, Miami