Photo by Bryan Ramos - Josue Puente speaks to a crowd of protesters standing against the ending of DACA on Nov. 9, 2017 at UTRGV.

Future for DACA, up in the air for many in RGV

By Bryan Ramos

U

nless your head was in the sand this past weekend, it was hard not to hear about the government shutdown. While the “greatest country in the world” went three days without Congress reaching an agreement to fund the federal government, “shithole countries” government’s were still running.

Fortunately, the Senate voted 81-18 Monday to end the federal government shutdown after 69 hours. While the government is set to reopen tomorrow, there are still many questions remaining to be answered in the next couple of months, with the biggest regarding immigration issues.

The main reason Republicans and Democrats failed to come up with short-term funding for the federal government on Jan. 19 stemmed from a disagreement over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA provides about 800,000 young people who were brought illegally to the United States as children with temporary protection from deportation if they can demonstrate that they meet several criteria, according to whitehouse.gov.

The program was created by former President Barack Obama. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is the home of 900 undocumented students.

With DACA set to expire in March, Republicans and some Democrats elected to push back a vote being made on the the Dream Act, a bill which would protect the almost 800,000 DREAMers instead of leaving their future in the air and putting them at risk of detention and deportation.

Turtle-faced Mitch McConnel, the Senate Majority Leader, promised Democrats that if they voted to reopen the government, he’ll take up the debate of protecting DACA recipients after Feb. 8. That remains to be seen.

Trump campaigned all along to end DACA and the Department of Homeland Security said permits will expire March 5. It is unknown what measures will be taken by Trump’s administration once and if a vote on the Dream Act isn’t held, and if DACA is ended. When asked if Trump would start deporting Dreamers if he doesn’t get what he wants from Democrats, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “We haven’t determined that.”

Here’s what President Twitter Fingers tweeted late last night after the government reopened: 

One good thing that did happen for Democrats was that a bill was passed to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for an additional six years after going 114 days without funding.

Stay tuned for next month’s episode of America.

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