The White House on Thursday said that no deal has been reached to protect DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. There are currently nearly 800,000 young people who are currently under the DACA program, which is an American immigration policy that allowed those who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit.
“There has not been a deal reached yet,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “We still think we can get there, and we are very focused trying to make sure [a deal] happens.”
However, a group of bipartisan senators said they were increasingly optimistic about a deal on a handful of immigration issues that include a solution on the future of thousands of undocumented immigrants currently stuck in legal limbo and border security. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with two dozen top lawmakers to seek a package with four elements: helping those undocumented immigrants in DACA, strengthening border security, altering how immigrants bring relatives to the U.S. and making changes to visa lottery that admits some people.
The group, which consists of Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Corey Gardner, R-Colo.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; and top Senate Democrat Dick Durbin, says their proposal should be able to obtain 60 votes in Senate. After Trump rescinded DACA last December, he gave Congress until March 5 to find a permanent legislative fix or the immigrants’ protection will expire.
Late Tuesday evening, a federal judge issued a temporary block on the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle DACA. Judge William Alsup wrote the University of California was “likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious.”
Since Trump eliminated the program, some 120 young people have lost the ability to live, work, go to school, and drive every single day. When March arrives, immigration advocates expect that 1,000 young people will lose their DACA protections each day.