Immigrants Left in Legal Limbo as Latest Attempt at Immigration Deal Falls Through

Illinois DACA recipients remain without a legislative solution to their immigration issues after negotiations between the Trump administration and Democrats failed. Trump had originally demanded $25 billion in funding for the border wall in exchange for offering a pathway to citizenship for the 700,000 people who are currently protected by DACA. The Democrats wanted protections for the 1.8 million people who were brought into the U.S. as children in exchange for agreeing to the $25 billion in funding. The Omnibus budget bill was passed on March 23 without the inclusion of any measure to protect the Dreamers.

Why the Deal Fell Through

Since the Trump administration announced the end to the DACA program in Sept. 2017, Congress and the administration have been unable to come up with a solution. Trump has demanded funds for a $25 billion border wall that the Democrats had initially balked at. In February, four proposed bills were voted down by the Senate. Trump and the Republicans have demanded several things that are aimed at tightened immigration enforcement that the Democrats do not support.

During the latest round of negotiations, Trump again demanded $25 billion for the border wall. The Democrats agreed to the funding but wanted protection and a pathway to citizenship to be extended to the 1.8 million people in the U.S. who were brought to the country as children. The Trump administration only offered a three-year extension of DACA for the 700,000 current recipients. In addition, Republicans in Congress demanded additional immigration provisions that the Democrats found to be unacceptable. Ultimately, the $1.3 trillion budget bill passed and was signed into law without addressing DACA, leaving immigration lawyers in Chicago wondering the future of DACA recipients.

What Happens Now?

It is unlikely that the DACA issue will be solved during 2018. Cases are pending in several federal courts about Trump’s end to the program. DACA recipients will likely have to wait for the cases to make their way through the federal court system and probably to the Supreme Court of the United States. While a legislative fix to DACA may not happen, it is possible that the court system will weigh in and address the issue. For now, DACA recipients might want to explore other avenues of immigration.