Pelosi, Dems to pass DREAM Act in next congress
The probable incoming speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement on Saturday that one of the first orders of business for the new Democratic majority in the House would be to pass a DREAM Act, putting millions of children of illegal aliens on a path to citizenship.
Pelosi was responding to a letter from House Democrats eager to get the DREAMers legalized as soon as possible.
"America draws strength from our long, proud heritage as a nation of immigrants. In the Majority, Democrats will work to reverse the Republicans' destructive anti-immigrant agenda," Pelosi said in a statement Saturday, responding to a letter sent Thursday by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. "Our House Democratic Majority will once again pass the Dream Act to end the uncertainty and fear inflicted on patriotic young men and women across the country."
Lawmakers in the Caucus urged Pelosi – who is vying to secure her second spell as speaker of the House during the upcoming congressional session – to schedule votes on legislation to codify protections for recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and for immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) within the first 100 days of the 116th Congress.
"We will protect TPS recipients and those fleeing unimaginable violence," Pelosi added in her statement.
It's true. America has always drawn strength from immigrants – legal immigrants. As for illegal aliens, it's a debatable question whether overall they have been a plus or a minus for the country.
Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York, one of the members of Congress who signed the letter to Pelosi, told CBS News that Democrats should move ahead "expeditiously" in January to pass bills that shield Dreamers and TPS holders from deportation, without providing any funding for a wall on the southern border – which President Trump and many Republicans have said needs to be included in any bipartisan immigration proposal.
"I think the Dream Act should be taken on alone, with no poison pills attached to it," Espaillat said.
The congressman from New York added House Democrats should try to pass the bills within the first 100 days of the next session – something Pelosi did not promise in her statement.
On the contrary, there is a basis for compromise between House Democrats and the president on this. Trump wants his wall. Democrats want to legalize at least some DREAMers. Trump has also said he would consider some kind of DACA legislation.
Add to this the fact that the government will run out of money in a few weeks, and we have the outline for a deal.
But I don't think Democrats are smart enough – or motivated enough – to make a deal with Trump on anything related to immigration. They will pass their DREAM Act, and Trump will sniff at it and veto it. Trump's wall is likely to receive similar treatment from Democrats. Democrats will look to score political points against Trump between now and 2020, and their agenda – such as it is – is just window dressing to achieve that.