UMMC Icare

Immigration Advocates Figure Out Next Move After Latest Budget Deal Leaves Out DACA

… This notion that the House is going to listen to what a senator tells them to do is not real.”
Step 3: Other leverage
If the legislative process can’t produce success, advocates say, they will look for any other leverage points they can. “Hopefully we could gather 60 votes for that. “The Freedom Caucus has been effective because they’ll use their power of 24 (votes to deny a majority), and they take the hostage, they’ll do what they have to do,” Dent said. And then that would be it — we’d resist everything else, any other amendments, and then go back to the House and create all the pressure in the House to make it happen.”
Step 2: Pressure Ryan
If the Senate can pass a bill, lawmakers hope Trump will fully embrace it, freeing House Speaker Paul Ryan to call it up. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat who has long served as one of the most outspoken advocates in Congress for immigration reform, was pessimistic with reporters early Friday morning as Congress passed the deal with virtually every Democratic priority except DACA in it. “There are some who believe that if we get a bunch of votes it’ll force the House to do it. I don’t agree,” Rubio said. “Really?” Gutierrez said about the omnibus as leverage. A bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes two dozen Republicans sent a letter to Ryan asking to open a floor debate like McConnell. Marco Rubio of Florida, a member of the bipartisan group, says he learned his lesson in 2013, when he co-authored legislation that passed the Senate with wide margins but died in the House. “Do we need a new way forward? We can get there, I feel very confident we can get there,” said Florida’s Republican Rep. “We’re pivoting, what can you do?” said longtime advocate Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice. 38.907192
-77.036871 Can you continue to threaten with something?”
Other options could include a temporary, one-year or two-year extension of DACA without a permanent solution, though lawmakers have decried that option. In the meantime, a pending court decision on DACA, which President Donald Trump is terminating, means the immigrants protected by it and who mostly have never known another country than the U.S., won’t begin losing their protections as planned on March 5 — but their fate could be reversed at any moment by another court decision. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
It’s an open question if there are cards left to play in the push to enshrine the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy into law. Can we reach that balance? Your leverage is you want them one and the same,” Gutierrez said. Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva called the episode “disheartening.”
“We have decoupled the issues. But Gutierrez doubted that approach — scoffing at the idea that Democrats would be taken seriously if they threatened to withhold their votes yet again without success. Gutierrez said the plan from the beginning was to either attach a DACA compromise to the must-pass budget deal or raising the debt ceiling, both of which were passed in the early morning hours Friday without DACA. As the ink dried Friday on a major budget compromise deal in Congress, immigration advocates were taking stock of getting left behind — again — without a resolution for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants on the verge of losing protections. A group of roughly 20 bipartisan senators is drafting legislation over the weekend to offer perhaps multiple amendments and potentially keep the debate focused on a narrow DACA-border security bill. Lily Logsdon, right, joins other activists in front of the office of Sen. “I tell our members, we put our votes together, we can really direct an outcome. We don’t even have that.”
Democrats also may have some Republican supporters in the House to pressure Ryan. “If that doesn’t work out, then there’s still an omnibus at the end of the day,” said Menendez, referring to the spending bills due in March to fund the government under the topline two-year budget deal passed Friday. … I suspect if the Senate sends us a bipartisan DACA bill, that’s when we’re going to have to flex our muscles.”
But others have doubts. Related Story White House Chief of Staff Suggests Undocumented Immigrants Who Didn’t Apply for DACA Were ‘Too Afraid’ or ‘Too Lazy’

“I think we have to be realistic,” said Arizona’s Democratic Rep. “This president clearly wants to get it done, I think the majority of Republicans want to get it done and the majority of Democrats want to get it done. “We’re going to have to deal with reality and find whatever means possible to put pressure on Speaker Ryan and the Republican Party to bring, again, a fair vote on the Dream Act to the floor.”
“I think for me the strategy has to be pressure Ryan and bring it to the floor,” Grijalva said, adding the process should allow any proposal to vie for a majority — even if it doesn’t have a majority of Republican votes. Is it realistic? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made good on his promise to tee up an immigration debate on the Senate floor next week. Republican Sen. Still, many aren’t ready to give up hope. Yeah, we’re going to figure out a new way forward.”
Step 1: Senate vote next week
There is one glimmer of hope for advocates. “We could vote on it 90-10. “We’ve had our doubts about the viability of a standalone legislative process but that’s what we’re left with, so we’re hoping to make the most of it. “No, I don’t, I don’t,” he said when asked if there was any other way Democrats could exert leverage on the issue. … That will put pressure on the president and the House to do the same.”

Related Story House Minority Leader Pelosi Sets Record With Marathon 8-Hour Speech Calling for Vote on DACA

Already, groups of lawmakers are preparing for the floor debate, even as it remains unclear how many amendments will be offered, how debate will be structured and how long it might last. While no advocates say they are giving up, many also openly admit that Democrats and allies gave up their best negotiating position on the issue without another clear avenue coming up. Advocates on the left may offer a clean DACA fix like the Dream Act, and some on the right are drafting a version of the White House proposal that would include $25 billion for a border wall and heavy cuts to legal immigration with a pathway to citizenship — though neither is expected to have 60 votes. We’re working with the (bipartisan group) to see if we can come to a two-pillar solution,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, to ask him to help recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Feb. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who has long worked on the issue, when asked Thursday what comes next for DACA. “Is it plausible? “The Senate, when they gave up on not voting for it, at the very minimum extracted a time certain and a debate on something. Republican Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said he’s been urging fellow moderates to use their numbers the way that conservatives on the right flank do. Mario Diaz-Balart. Already as the budget deal was on track for passage, House advocates began a pressure campaign to urge Ryan to make a promise like McConnell — though Ryan continually demurred and insisted instead he’s committed to the issue of immigration and passing a bill the President can support. Ruben Gallego. “First of all, we have the Senate procedure, which is my hope. 2, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was that promise that put in motion the deal that eventually severed DACA from other negotiations but also offers a rare opportunity for lawmakers to compete on a neutral playing field for bipartisan support. Related Story Congress Votes to Reopen Government, Passes Massive Budget Deal

Rep. Moments after the Senate passed the deal, McConnell filed to have a vote to open debate on an unrelated bill Monday evening — which will kick off a process where an as-yet-unknown number of amendments will be able to compete for a procedural threshold of 60 votes to then pass the Senate.