DACA replacement next steps
Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On January 9th, President Donald Trump said he wanted to consider a bipartisan “bill of love” to take the place of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. And with the deadline to replace DACA quickly approaching, supporters are wondering if Congress has made progress in drafting a DACA replacement.

The Trump administration repealed DACA in September, and the deadline to pass a new bill is March 5th. The people who benefit from DACA are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children or teenagers and are known as Dreamers.

The federal government must renew its funding by January 19th, and Democrats are threatening a government shutdown unless a DACA replacement is signed into law along with funding.

In order to prevent this and preserve protection for Dreamers, six senators from both parties are developing a bill to satisfy Trump’s January 9th declaration that he he would support a DACA replacement only if border security was heightened as well. Senators Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet, Bob Menendez, and Richard Durbin are behind the legislation.

Trump seems unwilling to compromise on the inclusion of a border wall with Mexico in the new bill. On January 10th, Trump reiterated in a press conference that his support of any new DACA bill is contingent on funding the wall. And tweets the president wrote on January 9th expressed a similar sentiment.

In the end, despite the bipartisan effort, the Trump administration rejected the bill on January 11th, saying the legislation needed more work.

But while Congress works on a permanent solution, DACA allies have found other ways to ensure Dreamers remain protected. On January 10th, a ruling from a California judge blocked Trump’s DACA repeal, meaning that those who had once been covered by the bill could reapply.

Now that Trump has rejected the best bipartisan agreement, it’s unclear what will happen. One thing is sure, though: A temporary block of the DACA repeal is not enough. We need Congress and the president to agree on a permanent DACA replacement before time runs out.