Friday, August 16, 2013

PIECEMEAL APPROACH BY THE HOUSE MAY HASTEN DREAMERS’ LEGALIZATION AT COST OF COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

There is some good news to report this week on the immigration front:

The Huffington Post reported yesterday that 400,562 young people or 72% of the estimated total eligible for DACA, have applied and been approved for deferred action since it was approved last August.

In response to overwhelming public support for aiding the Dreamers, 2 House Republicans who voted against the DREAM Act in 2010 are working on a Dream Act-like bill, called the Kids Act that would legalize, not just defer the deportation of Dreamers.

Due to wide public support and the President’s action the case to legalize Dreamers is a done deal as it seems like Congress will be able to come together for their cause. The issue now is to make the case to legalize their parents which is a much tougher case to make. There is still a long road ahead for comprehensive immigration reform but as the case for Dreamers show, civic action and public support can play a substantial role in influencing policy makers.

As a recent Washington Post article notes, there is a danger in the Houses’ piecemeal approach to immigration reform as it could be possible that the GOP concession to legalizing Dreamers will come at a cost of killing attempts at comprehensive immigration reform for the remaining 11 million undocumented immigrants. This is why this strategy is problematic. We need comprehensive immigration reform and to strike while the iron is hot as there is great public support for it now.

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