Discussion Points for Punto Legal- April 11, 2018

Discussion Points for Punto Legal- April 11, 2018


1. May 2018 Visa Bulletin.

The May 2018 visa bulletin has been published. The cut-off date for spouses and children of residents from Mexico is now 22 April 2016; last month it was 1 April 2016. The cut-off date for brothers and sisters of citizens from Mexico is 8 January 1998; last month it was 8 December 1997.

2. DACA.

Congress is back from a two-week recess without much of an agenda. Here is a suggestion: Rescue the “dreamers.” These are the young immigrants raised and educated in the United States whose jobs, prospects, and lives have hung in the balance since President Trump announced the end of DACA last year. It amounts to a kiss-off for a huge group of people, most of them in their teens and 20s and American in every sense, but the legal one.

For now, federal courts have frozen Mr. Trump’s effort to rescind the DACA and the protections it affords nearly 700,000 dreamers. The deportation squads are temporarily in check, but the dreamers are nonetheless in limbo, working and studying as usual, yet fully aware that a wrecking ball hangs over their futures.

Rather than use them as political hostages – by Republicans to demand concessions limiting immigration, and by Democrats to bludgeon Republicans – both sides could easily enact legislation to give them legal status or a path to citizenship.

Why can’t the Congress trade $25 billion to build Mr. Trump’s border wall for a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers, a group that includes those who enrolled in DACA, as well as about 1.1 million others who were eligible to enroll but didn’t. The wall is a foolish idea and will never be fully built, but the authorization to build the wall is worthwhile if it would protect these young people once and for all.

Many experts expect that the courts eventually will allow Mr. Trump’s rescission of DACA to go forward, deferring to the executive branch’s broad authority on immigration.

If and when that happens, hundreds of thousands of young people, their work permits suddenly worthless, will be thrown out of jobs. A population the size of Denver will have their lives upended at a stroke. College students, income stunted, will have to drop out. A parade of promising young people will be left wondering what happened to their American dreams.

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