Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said a Tuesday court ruling blocking President Trump from killing a program that provides protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children doesn’t make the need for a legislative fix any less urgent.
A federal judge in California temporarily barred Trump from rescinding the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in an order issued late Tuesday. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled the administration must reinstate protections for the some 800,000 DACA recipients, and begin processing renewal applications. Immigration advocates immediately feared Congress would see the ruling as an opportunity to delay legislative action to help the so-called Dreamers.
“Let me be very clear, the ruling last night in no way diminishes the urgency of resolving the DACA issue,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “A court case, of course, is no guarantee of lasting security; a higher court can quickly overturn it.”
Schumer stressed that a solution for DACA recipients, who started losing their protections when Trump moved to end the program in September, needs to be attached to “must-pass” spending bill.
“The fact remains the only way to guarantee the legal status for Dreamers is to pass DACA protections into law and do it now,” Schumer said. “For that reason a resolution to the DACA issue must be part of a global deal on the budget.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said any deal on DACA and border security should be handled separately from legislation to increase spending caps for defense and domestic budgets. But to pass an omnibus budget deal in the House, Democratic votes will likely be necessary, providing leverage for Democrats to strike a “global” deal with DACA attached.
“Unless DACA is on a must-pass deal, a must-pass bill, a global people are rightfully skeptical that it will ever happen,” he added.
Schumer remained optimistic that an “agreement is within reach,” saying Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on enhancing border security.