On Monday, January 22, President Trump signed a bill that ended the shutdown. Congressional Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise that funds the federal government until February 8. Part of the compromise involves supplying money to the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, and the suspension of a handful of tax increases that were part of the Affordable Care Act.
The most contentious part of the passing of the bill, however, concerned DACA. The Berman Law Group has already written about a guide to Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, but as South Florida immigration attorneys, we want to help you understand this even better.
What is DACA?
In 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request that the government not deport them for a period of two years. This two year period could be renewed.
Individuals could request delayed action if they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the U.S. before they turned 16
- Have lived continuously in the U.S. since 2007
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors
- Are currently in school, have graduated, or have been honorably discharged
The Government Shutdown
On Saturday, once midnight struck, the federal government officially ran out of funding. Congress failed to pass a budget, which means that all ‘nonessential’ services were not paid for. Military and law enforcement activities continued throughout the shutdown, and people still got their Social Security checks.
While the name does sound pretty scary, the reality of the situation is far less serious. Federal programs have shut down 18 times before. Only 40% of the civilian workforce was out of work for the one day that the government was shut down.
Government funding was an immediate issue. Immigration as a whole caused many disagreements between politicians. The American people themselves are fairly divided on immigration, as well. 87% of Americans support DACA, but more Americans want to decrease immigration than want to increase it. 56% of US citizens support some combination of electronic and physical barriers on the US-Mexico border, but 62% of Americans oppose a wall. We will leave that question up for other blogs.
The Future of DACA
What we will see concerning DACA specifically, and immigration, in general, is still up in the air. As part of the compromise to fund the federal government, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to schedule a vote on DACA. The exact nature of the bill that would be voted on is still unknown, however. There is little to ensure that the Senate Majority Leader will make good on his promise as well.
How Senators and Representatives vote is an even greater point of contention. The spending bill passed the Senate 81-18, and the President signed it.
If you are about to be deported, we can help. The Berman Law Group has attorneys that are talented, tactful, and trusted by everyone. Our South Florida immigration lawyers can fight for you today. When you have the immigration police breathing down your neck, you need a team that will fight for you. Call us today at (800) 883-5206.