Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Dreamers– young undocumented immigrants who’ve grown up as Americans– got a “major boost to legislative efforts” from House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging President Trump to not dismantle the program, according to a CNN report. DACA, in President Trump’s crosshairs since his campaigning days, is in jeopardy due to a looming September 5 deadline when a group of attorneys general from 10 states, led by Texas, threaten to bring suit against the federal government over the legality of the program.
Speaker Ryan’s overture to immigration advocates came in the form of an interview with a local broadcaster in Wisconsin, the state Speaker Ryan represents. And while he’s credited with a long history of verbal sympathy to Dreamers, the speaker has unfailingly cast his vote to strip DACA funding or end it alongside his Republican colleagues. A Ryan spokeswoman in the CNN report clarifies, “The speaker does not agree with President Obama’s DACA overreach. He believes it is Congress’s responsibility to set immigration law.”
Rumors of President Trump’s dismantling of DACA program have swirled out of political corners for weeks. Mainstream media consensus suggested the president would announce his proposals around immigration and DACA before the kickoff of Labor Day weekend. By late Friday, President Trump still wasn’t willing to tip his hand in terms of reform objectives and approaches save for continual references to a compassionate approach with a “big heart.”
While President Trump isn’t disclosing his reform proposals at this point, Speaker Ryan’s willingness to deal on the point could signal a recognition that finding a way to make a workable deal Dreamers and around the immigration issue could go a long way in passing a budget before entering the ever-encroaching territory of a government shutdown.
Still, with the pending threat of the Republican-led lawsuit, the president could decide to let the Supreme Court decide on the issue. While establishing a clear law against Obama-era immigration executive orders appeals to Republicans, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey means Texas residents need the kinds of services offered by undocumented population in Houston, possibly a geopolitical wrench in the mix.
“Parts of the Department of Homeland Security, which administers DACA, have been told prepare for a decision but have not been given any potential details of what a decision may be,” CNN reports.