WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

AP Foto/Jose Luis Magaña

23 Jan 2018 | Press Release

As Congress Votes to end Government Shutdown, DACA Fix Grows More Urgent

Washington, D.C.On January 22, Congress approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) that allows the government to resume its functions under 2017 funding levels until February 8. This gives Congress less than three weeks to come to an agreement on spending legislation for Fiscal Year 2018. While today’s votes will re-open the government and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Congress has failed to deliver a permanent legal status for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or for families who face deportation because of the end of their protected status (TPS).

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is working to negotiate an agreement that would resolve the status of the young men and women protected by DACA, and the long-time U.S. residents losing TPS. The leadership of both parties in the Senate has agreed to bring up legislation on this issue prior to the February 8 deadline.

“Every day it becomes more urgent for Congress to enact a bipartisan fix for the crisis created by this administration’s revoking of DACA and TPS,” said Geoff Thale, Vice President of Programs at advocacy group the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). “Every day means even more uncertainty for the 800,000 young people protected under DACA. Already more than 16,000 Dreamers have lost their protected status and this number is rising.”

The Trump administration continues to demand that Congress approve billions of dollars for the construction of a costly border wall and other border security measures. The administration wants $18 billion for 722 miles of wall over 10 years, including $1.6 billion for 74 miles in 2018. These proposals are both wasteful and counterproductive. In addition, the administration is calling for increases in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agents to ramp up deportations.  

“While negotiations often mean compromise, there should be no room to negotiate on the particularly cruel proposals that will build the Trump administration’s deportation force and rip apart families who have been contributing to this country for many years,” said Thale.