Senate GOP Proposes Changes to Child Asylum and DACA, as SCOTUS Refuses to Hear DACA Rescission This Term
Senate Republicans on Tuesday released their Donald Trump-inspired legislation on DACA and border security funding which drastically changes the program. It does not focus on extending DACA -- it basically replaces it with a different program that would exclude thousands of “Dreamers” who would have been eligible under DACA. The proposed legislation creates new income requirements for applying for DACA, meaning poor immigrants would not be eligible. The GOP proposal would also not only double the DACA application fees, but it would require all “Dreamers” to re-apply. The GOP plan would also grant “Dreamers” a three-year status -- that cannot ever be renewed. Senate Republicans included the Trump administration’s pending public charge rule that bans anyone who is 5% or more dependent on any level of government, even state or local aid, from receiving legal status. This would exclude numerous “Dreamers” in states such as California and New York, which offer state benefits to them, from eligibility. And for any “Dreamer” who claimed to be a citizen -- which some did before learning they were brought to the U.S. at a young age -- they would also not qualify. The GOP proposal also includes provisions that would require “Dreamers” to pay back any legally-obtained tax credits; prohibits them from getting permanent residence without “registering a legal entry” first; excludes those with removal orders; and excludes “Dreamers” not already in DACA. They also proposed drastic changes to the asylum system. Specifically, children younger than 18 from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala would not be able to apply for asylum at U.S. border. Children would be turned away. A new requirement would make it necessary for them to apply from their home country and cap the number of children who could qualify each year for the asylum program at 15,000. This news comes after the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to take up the Trump administration’s attempt to rollback the Obama-era policy. The move means protections for nearly 700,000 “DACAmented” remain in place for at least the next several months. The soonest the Supreme Court could take up the case would be this fall with a decision unlikely to be issued until 2020. More here.