Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) released a new bill, Securing America’s Future Act, which falls well short of a real bipartisan solution to providing protection to Dreamers. Center for American Progress Vice President of Immigration Policy Tom Jawetz issued the following statement in response:
Just one day after members of both parties sat down with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss a bipartisan way forward on providing protection to Dreamers, Reps. Goodlatte, Michael McCaul (R-TX), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Raul Labrador (R-ID) introduced a partisan, comprehensive, anti-immigrant proposal that walks them directly out of the conversation taking place around them. The Goodlatte bill—a laundry list of enforcement provisions that Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller puts under his pillow each night—is designed to move the conversation backward rather than forward; something this extreme can only be read as an attempt to try to throw a wrench into efforts to forge a true bipartisan compromise.
Yesterday, President Trump and those assembled at the White House agreed to narrow the focus of the current negotiations to protecting Dreamers and enhancing border security and to deal with other pressing immigration issues as part of a later comprehensive immigration reform effort. Goodlatte’s bill turns that agreement on its head, condemning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to a perpetual limbo while throwing $30 billion toward a border wall; expanding Trump’s mass deportation force; crippling the economy through mandatory E-Verify; and undermining local law enforcement and imposing widely rejected new mandatory minimums for immigration offenses. These policies have been outside the scope of any bipartisan discussions on Dreamers—including those held with the White House yesterday—and will no doubt remain so. And unlike bipartisan proposals, such as that of Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), that pair sensible border security solutions with a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, there is nothing in this bill that could be called sensible.
Notwithstanding the federal court ruling yesterday evening, every day without legislation, another 122 DACA recipients lose protection; this is a crisis that needs to be dealt with immediately. The contours of a deal are already out there, and members of Congress from both parties can—and must—come together on a bipartisan plan. This bill is nowhere close to that.