Compromise Legislation Introduced to Reopen Government

Credit: Oleg Albinsky

(Español) After President Trump spoke on Saturday in regards to a potential compromise to reopen the government, legislation was formally introduced in the Senate. The bill includes the language the president mentioned to protect the “Dreamers” under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and maintain Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Hidden in the details of the legislation, however, are many details many claim were not mentioned by the president in an effort to mislead the public.  

What the Republicans consider an olive branch to Democrats in order to reopen the government, the bill includes a number of provisions that are nonstarters to Democrats. First, the protections to those currently under DACA would only be extended for a maximum of three years. It is unclear what would happen after those three years but it could be reasoned that they could be subject to removal or deportation proceedings after that period ends, unless a more permanent solution occurs in that time. Additionally, the compromise only covers those who are currently protected by DACA and bars any new applicants from applying for any form of protection, leaving the fate of hundreds of thousands of DACA-eligible persons in limbo.

What Democrats claim is the most egregious omission in the president’s announcement is the effort to curtail asylum applications, specifically those for children who are under 18 from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. As it currently stands, asylum-seekers can only petition for asylum once on United States soil. Within provisions of the proposed compromise bill, asylum seekers under 18 years old would only be eligible to apply for asylum should they submit their applications at a processing center in their home country. Essentially, meaning those who successfully escape any form of violence in their country would be immediately eligible to removal once they arrive in United States and have not submitted a previous application.

At this point, this measure is unlikely to advance as the Democrats are confident they have the votes to block the measure from moving on from the Senate, seeing this move as a false compromise.