Dreamer Legislation Key on Multiple Fronts

After President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the lack of legislation for handling the limbo status of Dreamers creates multiple questions on multiple fronts. As lawmakers consider immigration policy, a pivotal element in negotiations around a major spending bill, the healthcare industry around the country braces for the current state of ambiguity.

President Trump’s decision to end DACA, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just after Labor Day, theoretically forces Congress to finally address immigration legislation as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issue the last of the DACA renewals in March 2018. In a theoretical sense, the hot-button immigration issue creates leverage for all sides as Washington leadership addresses the president’s proposed spending bill. In other words, Republican requirements around border security and enforcement more easily sits with the Democrat focus around legal-status considerations for Dreamers when all the elements come together within the passage of tax and spending bill legislation.

While the component parts arguably call for a sense of urgency among lawmakers, according to The Washington Post, bipartisan immigration policy leadership are taking their opportunities to deliver the best of both worlds to constituents down to the wire. The House of Representatives’ Problem Solvers Caucus “have waited more than two weeks to present a potential compromise to a group of about 40 House Democrats and House Republicans,” according to the report covering press conference comments from Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).

Curbelo, described as “one of the more moderate voices in his caucus” provides leadership in immigration overhaul talks with Democrats and warns “that potential compromises need to be revealed this week if Congress has any hope of passing legislation that would enact permanent legal protections for dreamers.”

The delay extends beyond the halls of Congress and extends into real-world circumstance as at least one organization acknowledges potential hiccups in its programs. Officials with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP),  a nonprofit organization created to match U.S. physician residency applicants with appropriate positions, issued a statement that the holdup around immigration legislation jeopardizes the program as immigration politics affect individuals with massive resources devoted to the medical profession and leaves U.S. training programs unable to “select applicants based on their excellent character and qualifications, without regard to nationality, according to an industry publication.

“NRMP encourages applicants and programs to make the best decisions they can under existing circumstances. For its part, NRMP will be liberal in granting waivers to applicants and programs if they cannot meet their respective Match obligations because of the effects of the visa restrictions or changes to the DACA program.”

Problem Solvers Caucus leaders Rep. Tom Reed, (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) issued a statement and relayed, “We are more interested in getting it right than rushing to a reckless plan that fails to achieve a bipartisan solution for the American people.”