Dean DeChiaro

Legal Fight Over DACA Amps Up Pressure on Reluctant Congress
As another court ruling unfolds in Texas, clamor for legislative solution only grows

Congress could face more pressure to protect “Dreamers” because of court decisions about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows people who were brought to the United States as undocumented children to live and work here temporarily.

Still, even with the additional pressure from the court rulings, lawmakers are unlikely to pass any legislation in the months preceding the November midterm elections.

Senate Democrats Slam Trump Officials Over Family Separations
Durbin called on the Homeland Security secretary to resign

Senate Democrats on Tuesday criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to reunify hundreds of undocumented migrant children who remain separated from their parents as a result of the president’s zero-tolerance border security policy — including many whose parents have already been deported.

Officials from the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services told the Senate Judiciary Committee that their court-ordered work to reunify separated families is unfinished. 

Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Agenda Gets Boost from Partisan Vote
Bill would provide $51.4 billion to Homeland Security

President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement and border security agenda got a significant boost after the  House Appropriations Committee voted 29-22 along party lines to approve a bill that would provide $51.4 billion to the Homeland Security Department in fiscal 2019. 

Overall, Wednesday’s  bill — which  would provide $51.4 billion in discretionary funding to DHS, a nearly 8 percent increase over the $47.7 billion provided to the department in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending law. 

House Appropriators Seek Details on Family Separations, Citing ‘Hearts, Not Just Our Heads’
Push comes on the eve of DHS spending bill markup

House appropriators are using a committee report on the fiscal 2019 Homeland Security spending bill to probe the Trump administration’s separation of more than 2,500 undocumented children from their parents as it races to meet a Thursday deadline requiring their reunification.

The report’s release Tuesday morning comes on the eve of the full Appropriations Committee’s markup of the draft DHS spending bill, which would provide $51.4 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, nearly an 8 percent increase over the $47.7 billion provided in fiscal 2018.

Democrats Search for a Winning Campaign Strategy on Immigration
Republicans have a well-rehearsed message. Will Democrats get rolled?

In Donald Trump’s America, the immigration debate has grown ugly.

Images of undocumented children, separated from their parents at the border and held in cages inside a former Walmart, dominate the news cycle, leading Trump’s critics to invoke the horrors of Nazi Germany. And Trump’s rhetoric has only intensified, as he warns of subhuman immigrants transforming American neighborhoods from Long Island to California into “blood-stained killing fields.”

Uncertain Immigration Votes Set in House
Chances of either bill passing looked even slimmer after Trump tweeted Thursday morning

After weeks of huddled negotiations, House Republicans on Thursday will attempt to bridge a longstanding intraparty divide and pass immigration legislation that would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation and bolster President Donald Trump’s enforcement and border security agenda.

The House will vote on two bills, both of which are long shots to pass given that no Democrats plan to support them and Republicans are split. The measures face crucial tests around lunchtime, when the House will vote on the rules for both. If Republicans don’t unite at least on those votes, one or both bills could die before coming up for a vote final passage.

GOP Seeks Changes to Immigration Deal They Crafted
Compromise would help Dreamers, fund border wall, curb family-based visa programs

A compromise immigration deal brokered by House Republicans this week would offer so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship, provide nearly $25 billion for President Donald Trump’s border wall and end family-based visa programs for certain relatives of U.S. citizens, according to a discussion draft of legislation circulated among lawmakers Thursday.

The discussion draft, provided to Roll Call by a staffer with knowledge of the negotiations, would create a new merit-based visa that Dreamers and other young immigrants could obtain starting six years after the bill is enacted. The visa would be available to Dreamers enrolled in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, as well as those who are eligible but never signed up.

House GOP’s Fragile Immigration Deal Faces Uphill Battle
‘Hopefully, every time there’s a compromise, everyone can claim some victories’

Republicans were quick to congratulate themselves Wednesday after brokering a fragile path forward on immigration legislation and avoiding — for now — a bruising civil war less than six months before the midterm elections.

“This is an effort to bring our caucus together, our conference together, on immigration,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin told reporters. “I’m very pleased with our members.”

Justice Department Raises Burden of Proof for Asylum Seekers
DOJ has struggled to reduce backlog of more than 700,000 cases

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced new limits on an individual’s ability to seek asylum in the United States, a decision likely to affect thousands of Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in the hopes of gaining refuge.

The decision by Sessions comes after months of deliberation over whether victims of domestic violence and other private criminal activity — as opposed to state-sponsored crime — qualify to receive asylum. Thousands of asylum-seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have made such claims in recent years as they arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Analysis: Deep GOP Rift on Immigration Isn’t Easy to Fix
Look a little closer, and it’s clear the debate goes far beyond Dreamers

At first glance, the Republican Party’s latest bout of immigration infighting appears to orbit around one key disagreement: Should so-called Dreamers be given a path to citizenship?

Look a little closer, and it’s clear the rift goes far beyond Dreamers. What Republicans are struggling with is a fundamental dispute over the core values of the U.S. immigration system and who may benefit. And the same disagreements that have previously doomed the prospects of a deal threaten to do so again in this newest round of negotiations in the House.

DACA Ruling Could Open Door for More ‘Dreamers’
Administration failed to describe unlawfulness of program, judge says

The number of “Dreamers” protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could nearly triple if the Homeland Security Department cannot convince a federal judge that President Donald Trump had a good reason to end it.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday night that Trump’s decision to end the program, known as DACA, was “unlawful” and “arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

Jerry Brown Deflects Conflict With Feds Under Trump
California governor puts onus on Congress to address immigration

California Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he expects to reach a deal with the White House to deploy up to 400 National Guard troops on his state's border with Mexico, even as President Donald Trump hurled criticisms at the Democrat on Twitter.

Brown, who has frequently clashed with Trump on immigration issues, made the comments amid ongoing negotiations over terms of the deployment that Trump requested earlier this month to help address a recent increase in illegal border traffic. Brown is insisting that California troops do not take part in immigration enforcement operations.

Administration Details National Guard Duties on Border
California backs out of sending own

About 900 National Guard troops have been deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to help carry out President Donald Trump’s border security agenda, administration officials said Monday.

An estimated 250 troops have been deployed in Arizona, 60 in New Mexico and roughly 650 in Texas, said Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau. Trump has said he wants 2,000-4,000 troops deployed.

Trump’s Strategy to Shrink Immigration Court Backlog May Not Work
Quotas could backfire, advocates say

A crucial piece of President Donald Trump’s deportation machine is not working the way he wants. He’s arresting thousands more undocumented immigrants than his predecessor, and illegal border traffic has dropped to historically low levels.

Still, something is wrong.

Don’t Mess With Texas Landowners on Border Wall, Lawmakers Warn
‘I’ve been warning people since day one, you’re gonna need a lot of lawyers’

Two Texas lawmakers — one Republican, one Democrat — warned Homeland Security Department officials Thursday that it won’t be easy to build President Donald Trump’s border wall in the Lone Star State if private landowners have anything to say about it.

GOP Rep. John Carter, chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, whose district sits on the border with Mexico, laid out a host of reasons why landowners on the border could stifle — temporarily, at least — DHS efforts to make Trump’s hallmark campaign promise a reality.

Trump’s Idea for Military to Secure Border Is Complicated
President could face congressional and legal stumbling blocks

Updated 9:14 p.m. | President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would use the military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, a complicated plan that could require him to declare a national emergency to avoid running afoul of a federal law that prohibits the military from acting as a police force.

Fact-Checking Trump’s Immigration Tweets
President sharpened attacks on Democrats over the weekend

In a series of tweets over the weekend and Monday morning, President Donald Trump made claims about immigration policy; border security; the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program; and the debate in Congress. Roll Call fact-checked some of Trump’s assertions, many of which are not true.

Trump first announced his intention to end DACA last September, and ordered the Homeland Security Department to begin winding the program down in early March. But two federal judges have blocked his efforts, leaving the program largely intact and keeping about 700,000 young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” in limbo.

Trump Intensifies War on California’s Immigrant ‘Sanctuaries’
So far, little to show for effort to crack down on illegal immigration

The legal struggle over immigrant “sanctuaries” is escalating, and deep-blue California is ground zero.

“This is basically going to war,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration is suing the state over three recently enacted laws limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Border Wall Funds Elusive Without a Deal on ‘Dreamers’
Stalemate could affect negotiations over fiscal 2018 spending bill

President Donald Trump may be headed for a Groundhog Day experience as his search for funding to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall enters its second year.

Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion in fiscal 2019 to construct 65 miles of new barriers in southern Texas, even though he is still without the $1.6 billion he requested for 2018. The White House also wants $18 billion over the next decade for construction.