With the February 8th deadline for debate on DACA imminent and the March 5th DACA termination deadline approaching, legislators have been introducing bills to resolve the long-standing “Dreamer” issue.

Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) have introduced a simplified measure combining DACA and border security. It would grant permanent legal status to more than 1.8 million “Dreamers.” It also would enhance security on the U.S. southern border initially through the use of drones and other technology. Under the bill, DHS must prepare a proposal regarding border security strategy within a year of passage. The bill does not provide immediate funding for a border wall. It is a companion bill to the bi-partisan Uniting and Securing America Act of 2017 (USA Act of 2017), introduced in the House by Representatives Will Hurd (R-Tex.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Cal.). That bill has 54 co-sponsors – 27 Democrats and 27 Republicans.

In an interview, Senator Coons stated he expect some border funding would have to be added. He also explained that he would continue to work with the “Common Sense Coalition” headed by Senators Susan Collins (R-Me.) and Joseph Manchin (D-W. Va.) to find a compromise on a path forward.

Earlier bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took a similar tack. Reportedly, President Donald Trump initially supported that bill, before ultimately rejecting it. Regarding Coons-McCain, President Trump has already tweeted the following:

Any deal on DACA that does not include STRONG border security and the desperately needed WALL is a total waste of time . . . March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Dems seem not to care about DACA. Make a deal!

The Administration continues to focus on its “four pillars” framework: border security (including a $25-billion trust fund for a wall), a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers,” an end to “chain migration,” and an end to the diversity visa lottery. The McCain-Coons bill streamlines the issues and addresses only a pathway for Dreamers and enhanced border security.

In the meantime, DACA beneficiaries may continue to apply for renewal, while they await further court rulings. A case of particular interest is whether the Supreme Court will grant certiorari to review the legality of President Trump’s rescission of the DACA program.

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.