The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) is under attack by Republicans. President Obama began the program. It is for youngsters called dreamers. These are people whose unauthorized parents brought them to the U.S. as children.
The DACA gives the youngsters permission to remain in the country for two years. They can go to school and hold jobs. In some states, they can get driver’s licenses.
Republicans won control of both houses of the Congress in the 2014 election. They vowed to defund the dreamers program.
As a way to defund the DACA, Republicans attached an amendment to a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The amended bill passed the House of Representatives. However, Democrats said the amended bill would not get enough votes to pass in the Senate.
Another amendment passed the House of Representatives that ended funding for immigrants covered in the president’s executive order. That order gave undocumented parents with American-born children the opportunity to achieve legal status.
Observers note that the Republicans had no trouble getting these amendments passed in the House. However, a good many Republicans voted against the amendment on the dreamers.
This means that some Republicans do not want to appear to be against unauthorized migrants. Foreign-born American citizens are expected to play a big role in the 2016 presidential campaign. And there are a growing number of young American-born voters who are the children of the undocumented.
Political experts say that Republicans want to show they can govern. However, other experts say if Republicans simply pass bills that go after immigrants, they will be passing bills that the president will veto. This will not give them a record to run on.
Source: The New York Times January 15, 2015