Democratic Leaders to Secretly Huddle With Immigration Advocates to Save DACA

WASHINGTON – Senate Democratic leaders will secretly huddle with immigration advocates Wednesday to find out what measures they will — and won’t —support as the clock ticks down on immigration issues that must be decided in the next 50 to 90 days, including the Obama-era policy that grants temporary legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Knowing that the deferred action program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — could be eliminated if it ends up in court, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other leaders are expected to hold a conversation with advocates on the realities of the political fight, pressing for unity and asking if the advocates will give in on any other parts of the immigration fight in order to save DACA.

“Schumer is a good person to be meeting with right now because he has to hold his guys together to block some of this stuff that is coming from the House,” said a congressional staffer who could not speak publicly about Democratic strategy.

The Trump administration has until Sept. 5 — the same day Congress returns from its August recess — to decide if the administration will phase out DACA or risk a court challenge by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other states.

DACA is the biggest of a number of immigration decisions looming over the Trump administration, all with September deadlines — including whether to renew temporary protective status for nationals of Somalia and Yemen, whether to demand funding for the border wall and whether to continue an immigrant investor program that the sister of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, controversially used to court Chinese investors.

Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of America’s Voice Education Fund

The Department of Homeland Security wouldn’t offer any clues into the decision-making, but Homeland Security spokeswoman Joanne Talbot said the DACA program is under review, reiterating that President Trump has spoken of the need to “handle the issue with compassion and with heart.”

By Franco Ordonez for The Charlotte Observer
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