Is DACA dead?

Immigration reform seems out of reach. Will Trump really let the DREAMers face deportation?

A man holds a DREAMer sign
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Yesterday afternoon, President Trump's unpopular, hardline immigration dreams died an embarrassing and comprehensive death in the United States Senate, largely at the hands of his own allies. More importantly, another day of run-of-the-mill congressional dysfunction left recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the president cruelly ended in September, one step closer to mass deportation. With a legislative path to an immigration fix all but closed off, the only real question left is whether Trump will really be willing to oversee the unconscionable expulsion of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers during an election year in which his party is already likely to get routed.

The Senate voted yesterday on four separate measures, all of which failed. One was a bipartisan compromise, worked out in painstaking detail by a group of nearly two dozen senators, including Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Angus King (I-Maine). It would have provided a path to citizenship for the DREAMers as well as hundreds of thousands of others brought to the U.S. as undocumented children. It provided $25 billion for Trump's ridiculous, see-through border wall and placed some modest new restrictions on the ability of DACA recipients to sponsor their parents, but was otherwise to the left of the earlier compromise bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
David Faris

David Faris is an associate professor of political science at Roosevelt University and the author of It's Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics. He is a frequent contributor to Informed Comment, and his work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Indy Week.