After the United States Supreme Court laid the gavel down against President Trump’s undertaking to undo the previous administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), congressional Republicans set the arena for a one-two punch. In a rare bipartisan moment on the Hill, Democrats and a few Republicans floated the idea of penning legislation to allow DACA recipients to remain in-country – in limbo, but in America.
Perhaps the bill can be named the 2020 Hell Froze Over Act.
The Skinny on the Pork
The Trump administration sought to undo the Obama 2012 DACA initiative and has routinely cited the act as “unlawfully” created. The Court did not consider whether DACA was illegally established. Instead, the Supremes focused on what to do with 800,000 or so folks who remain on edge and in fear of deportation.
The recent Supreme Court decision mostly muddied the waters for lawmakers – it did not clean the slate for new and adequate legislation to be drafted and enacted, nor did it provide any long-term solutions to the ongoing question of citizenship. Liberty Nation’s Legal Affairs Editor Scott Cosenza analyzed the ruling and offered this conclusion:
“I suspect that if the administration does move to withdraw DACA consistent with the new ruling, we will see more litigation tying up the process again, and potentially for years to come. We know that many district court judges sadly give little pause when it comes to imposing broad injunctions against this administration, and there doesn’t seem to be any change in that regard. The Court has left the country with a mess that won’t be cleaned up soon.”
And that could be why there is a push from congressional Republicans to come up with a solution sooner rather than later. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) – a fervent supporter of the president – took to Twitter with a positive tone for bipartisanship for Dreamers, with a little nudge for the guy behind the Resolute Desk: “Today’s DACA ruling gives the White House and Congress the opportunity to do what is right and solve this issue with thoughtful legislation.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), also a Trump buddy, dribbled out a statement reflecting a balancing act between “must have a permanent legislative solution,” and all players must agree on “the buy-in” for such legislation to proceed and succeed.
And Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) – who waffles a tad on whether or not Trump is his guy – invoked the “most Americans agree with me” stance. In offering his thoughts on crossing the aisle for a positive change, Sasse stated, “I believe kids who were brought here years ago through no fault of their own shouldn’t live in fear of deportation – but that should be done via legislation.”
Is Hell Freezing Over?
It will be an exciting ride during the process of agreeing on what legislation makes it to the Oval Office. President Trump held out an olive branch in January 2019 when the government shut down over funding the border wall. He asked for $5.7 billion and, in exchange, would provide “three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents.” Democrats told the president to find a high, rocky cliff and take a giant leap.
If Trump steps into the bipartisan arena to help end this ongoing DACA Dreamer drama and ends the perpetual purgatory for these people, will he leave victorious or walk away with a sound beating? Barreling toward election day 2020, perhaps the president will see fit to end DACA and let the defrosting of Hell be one step closer to completion.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.