No Relief for Dreamers in U.S. Govt’s Latest Spending Bill

Almost 7,000 Indian Americans are also affected by the uncertainty around the DACA program.


After months of debate by the United States lawmakers about illegal immigrants and two federal government shutdowns, President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill on March 23 to avert another government shutdown. However, the bill did not address the issues of the almost 700,000 Dreamers.

Trump said that those who are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act “have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.” He had earlier said that he was considering a veto for the bill.

Trump’s administration had declared in September 2017 that they intend to end the DACA program by March 2018 but after the federal court intervened there is a stop on deportation plan for the individuals who have already been enrolled. However, those who are eligible but were not enrolled in the program are not protected.

They can still get work permits under the program and can also get a driver’s license. Around 7,000 Indian Americans are also affected by the change in policy and there future is also uncertain.

“The Republicans are with you, they want to get your situation taken care of,” Trump said at the White House, according to AFP. Democrats fought against a deal for Dreamers “every single inch of the way,” he said. “They did not want DACA in this bill.”

Dreamers are angry at Trump and Republicans for not mentioning the anti-deportation measure in the spending bill and still claiming to be supportive. Dreamers expressed anger about the uncertainty and anxiety over their future, according to AFP.

Democrat leaders also reacted strongly to the bill.

“You are the one who put an expiration date on Dreamers’ backs, then refused to compromise to fix #DACA,” Senator Ben Cardin tweeted.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said: “If there is no DACA fix today it’s because the president didn’t want one.”

While Trump had told lawmakers that he wants immigrants taken care of, he voted a bipartisan bill about immigration earlier in the year. Four separate bills were presented on Feb. 15 to the United States Senate and none of them received a majority.

Trump had supported a 10-12 year path to citizenship for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as an additional $25 billion for improving border security such as the border wall but that too fell through.

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