Congressional pair propose bipartisan DACA bill

Immigration rights supporters protest the Trump Administration's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Washington, D.C. on September 5. On Monday, bipartisan lawmakers from Texas and California announced a plan to allow participants of the program to stay in the country. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Jan. 9 (UPI) — A Democrat from California and a Republican from Texas are working together to introduce bipartisan legislation aimed at solving the issue of children who were brought to the United States as undocumented immigrants.

Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., are planning to bring a bill to Congress that would allow participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to stay in the country before a Jan. 19 government funding deadline.

The Uniting and Securing America [USA] Act doesn’t include an automatic pathway to citizenship for DACA participants, but instead gives them legal resident status provided they do not have a criminal record and either completed high school or enlisted in the military.

“There have been many conversations, and the goal is to continue to talk about this and figure out how you get more votes and get this done and make sure the kids who have only known the United States of America can stay here,” Hurd told the San Antonio Express News. “Of the reasonable people that are ultimately going to get this deal done, nobody is talking about deporting these kids to countries they’ve never known.”

Hurd told CNN the plan aims to be “as narrow as possible.”

“This is a DACA and border security fix,” Hurd said. “And if there’s other elements that have to be included in a broader deal to get signed into law, this is a foundation for that conversation.”

Although some immigration activists have said a pathway to citizenship is a must for any DACA legislation, Aguilar said a compromise will help reach a solution for those who need it.

“I’ve always said I’m willing to work across the aisle to deliver results for my community,” Aguilar tweeted. “This bipartisan compromise with [Hurd] will #ProtectDreamers in the Inland Empire and around the country.”

In September, President Donald Trump announced an end to the DACA program and pushed Congress to produce legislation to deal with the matter.

“Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do),” Trump tweeted at the time.

DACA had previously been implemented under an executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012.


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