Two presidential administrations have come into power since President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act in 2012, the details of which are still being, well, deferred. DACA recipients in New Jersey are not easily daunted, however, by politicians who can’t agree on how the final details of the legislation should be executed.
Waiting for the fulfillment of promises
DACA recipients or “Dreamers,” many of whom are now college-educated professionals, are banking on the Build Back Better (BBB) Act to secure their legal status. The provisions included in the BBB would give millions of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before 2011 a path to citizenship. They would be able to get driver’s licenses and extended work permits.
The BBB Act has already been defeated once, but efforts to push it through to finalization continue by the Democratic party. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin was the against-the-grain holdout who thwarted his party’s efforts to initially get the legislation passed. His stand-alone vote against the measure was significant because the BBB Act has no Republican support at all. Back to the drawing board, the Democrats went.
The Senate parliamentarian also gave no support to the BBB Act. She already hailed that immigration matters will not be a part of any economic or stimulus bills. Prominent DACA advocates of the bill think there should be no room to consider the parliamentarian’s ruling due to its irrelevance to this matter. They collectively believe that this is about fulfilling promises made to millions of undocumented immigrants and that passage of the BBB Act should be left in the hands of Senate Democrats.
In it for the long haul
The Dreamers successfully staved off President Trump’s efforts to ditch the DACA program. The fight for fulfilled promises continues.