After pledging to force a vote in December over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Congressional Democrats are acknowledging defeat.

The hope was to add a vote on DACA to the short-term spending bill set to keep the government running through mid-January, but Democrats were unsuccessful. Efforts will likely pick up again in 2018, as DACA is set to shut down in March.

DREAM Act still in the works

Bipartisan efforts continue to pass the DREAM Act, which we discussed as a possible Congressional response when the Trump administration first announced it would end DACA. In its current state, the DREAM Act would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cancel removal and grant lawful permanent resident status on a conditional basis to an alien who is inadmissible or deportable or is in temporary protected status who:

  • Has been continuously physically present in the U.S. for four years preceding the bill’s enactment
  • Was younger than 18 years on the initial date of U.S. entry
  • Is not inadmissible on criminal, security, terrorism or other grounds
  • Has not participated in persecution
  • Has not been convicted of specified federal or state offenses
  • Has fulfilled specific educational requirements

Even though DACA was not added to the 2017 spending bill, Democrats and Republicans are continuing negotiations on what the final bill will look like and getting it passed in time. 

We will continue to publish updates regarding DACA and any related legislation. In the meantime, if you are currently facing immigration issues, contact an attorney who can help you with your legal needs.