Many agree: Time for Congress to act after DACA decision

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Posted: Sep 06, 2017 8:43 PM

Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators agree with President Donald Trump on one one aspect of DACA: Congress now needs to act.

After calling Trump cruel, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Congress needs to step into the DACA fight.

“I have always held out the hope that President Trump would keep his word and ‘take care’ of the Dreamers. After all, the president told America, ‘We love the Dreamers,’ ” Durbin said in a statement. “Starting this countdown clock will require Congress to act fast.”

Democrat U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said much the same thing. So did Trump, for that matter.

And so does Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy expert at the Cato Institute.

“The ball is now in Congress’ court,” Nowrasteh said. “It is their job to pass a law. To provide a long-term solution to this immigration problem, specifically to try and legalize a lot of these DREAMers who were brought here as children.”

The Trump Administration said it ended President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy because it exceeded his Constitutional authority when he ordered as many as 800,000 illegal immigrants to be able to stay in the U.S. The White House said Trump is willing to work with Congress to find a solution.

Nowrasteh said the problem may be getting Congress to agree with itself.

“It’s a big ‘if.’ Congress hasn’t passed a substantive immigration bill since the 1990s,” Nowrasteh said. “This is different because the DREAMers are a very sympathetic group. I don’t think any bill that includes E-Verify, or a border wall, or a RAISE Act will pass because those are so unpopular.”

The president’s decision to end DACA won’t mean any changes for anyone for the next six months, and could allow some DREAMers to stay in the U.S. for as long as two years.

Nowrasteh said no matter what you think of DACA as policy, the best solution for all sides is to have Congress act.