The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 23, 2024

By the seventh inning in game two of Texas A&M baseball’s Men’s College World Series championship series against Tenneseee, it looked...

Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Current state of immigration reform

Photo by Creative Commons

Congress is considering a wide variety of acts intended to prevent future mass-shootings and other incidents of gun violence.

As part of the deal that officially reopened the government on Jan. 22, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) agreed to allow a vote on immigration in the coming weeks. Until then however, the future of young, undocumented immigrants pursuing work and education in the United States is hanging in the balance.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was the flagship immigration policy of the Obama administration. The program allowed individuals who had been illegally brought to the United States as minors to apply for a two-year, renewable deferment from deportation and to become eligible for a work visa, among other benefits.
For the five years that the policy was in effect, hundreds of thousands of individuals who had only ever known the United States as their home entered the program that promised them a certain degree of safety and stability.
There are approximately 800,000 individuals enrolled in DACA as of 2017. They are often referred to as Dreamers, a term originating from the 2001 bipartisan Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which proposed a pathway to citizenship for qualifying undocumented residents brought to America as minors. The bill has been reintroduced multiple times since, but no version has been successfully passed. The term Dreamers has been used to describe all undocumented residents, even non-DACA recipients, that would be protected by some form of the DREAM act.
For half a decade, DACA recipients worked, studied and paid taxes in the United States until September 2017, when the Trump administration announced the president’s decision to end the program.
In a statement to the White House Press Pool, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stressed the legal and economic reasons behind the president’s choice.
“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everybody who would like to come here,” Sessions said. “The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied youth on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences. It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
In a paper published by the Journal of Public Economics in November of 2016, Nolan G. Pope, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland, wrote that DACA had a significant impact on the entire immigrant community in the U.S., moving tens of thousands of immigrants out of unemployment.
“I find DACA increases the likelihood of working by increasing labor force participation and decreasing the unemployment rate for DACA-eligible immigrants,” Pope wrote. “I also find DACA increases the income of unauthorized immigrants in the bottom of the income distribution. Using these estimates, DACA moved 50,000 to 75,000 unauthorized immigrants into employment.”
High ranking Republicans seem to agree that DACA recipients and other Dreamers deserve special consideration in the immigration debate. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) expressed his support for Dreamers on his official House webpage.
“To start, we need to find a way forward for the ‘DREAMers,’” Ryan wrote. “These are unauthorized immigrants whose parents brought them here as children. They didn’t break the law; their parents did. They grew up in our country, and now they are pursuing an advanced degree or serving in our military.”
Since taking office, President Donald Trump himself appears to have relaxed his stance on Dreamers as well. In a departure from his campaign promise to deport them, Trump seemed to empathize with Dreamers’ struggles in a statement he made on the matter in November.
“They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here,” Trump said. “Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Five months after the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA, the fate of Dreamers once again took center stage on Capitol Hill. A deal to protect Dreamers became one of several key issues in play during Congress’ efforts to pass funding measures necessary to avoid a government shutdown.
For months, Congress seemed to remain at a stalemate when it came to appropriations needed to keep the government open. Congress continued to pass temporary measures, funding the government for mere weeks at a time, while Democrats and Republicans fought on multiple battlegrounds, including children’s health insurance and immigration.
“We have to provide funding for community health centers and [the Children’s Health Insurance Program], as well as relief for the millions of Americans still reeling from natural disasters,” Senators Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement at the beginning of December 2017. “And we must also come together on a bipartisan deal to pass the DREAM Act along with tough border security measures. There is a bipartisan path forward on all of these items.”
For a moment it seemed as if a satisfactory agreement for both sides might be reached, but as the midnight deadline approached on Jan. 20, Democrats refused to vote for measures to fund the government without a concrete solution for the Dreamers on the table.
Despite bipartisan support for DACA recipients, a deal could not be reached and the government shut down on the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. It marked the first time in modern history that the government shut down when one party controlled both chambers of Congress and the presidency.
The government remained shut down for 69 hours with national parks closed, government employees on furlough and members of the military going without pay. Finally, Democratic senators caved to external pressures and conceded to vote on temporary funding measures while the ultimate fate of DACA recipients remains undecided.

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