DACA legislation update

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Larry Levi Sandigo, advocacy chair for the American Immigration Lawyers Association gives us an update on different DACA legislation being currently discussed.

Jose A. Cardenas: This week house speaker Paul Ryan told a group of republicans that he plans to include legislation for daca in a year end spending deal. With me to talk about this and to give us an update on on different "daca" legislation being discussed is Larry Levy Santiago, advocacy chair of the American immigration lawyers association. Larry, welcome back. We keep talking about this. There have been a lot of developments since the president kind of issued his challenge to congress to do something and not too long after that looked like there was a deal with the democrats. What happened to that and take us through the different stages of proposed legislation to where we are today.

Larry Levi Sandigo: You know, the democrat leaders did announce they had reached a deal on the dreamers. Then quickly thereafter, it sort of unraveled. The administration just recently issued a whole new set of proposals they said wouldn't be needed in order to pass any legislation that addresses dreamers. For most democrats, that wish list from the white house was unacceptable.

Jose A. Cardenas: It sounded like more than a wish list from the white house. It was more of a demand. we are talking about the wall and what else?

Larry Levi Sandigo: The wall, treatment of unaccompanied minors, the hiring of more border patrol.

Jose A. Cardenas: You had senator flake with a proposal and Schumer and Durbin with proposals that had been out there.

Larry Levi Sandigo: Durbin and graham.

Jose A. Cardenas: And Senator tillis had his own. Give us a sense for what those proposals were and let's then talk about speaker Ryan’s announcement today or this week.

Larry Levi Sandigo: An acknowledgment of what was said. Not all dream acts are created equal. Some of them, such as the dream act that is proposed by Senator’s Durbin and Graham, have essentially, what we have always thought of in terms of the protection for the dreamers. Residency for a certain amount of time and then permanent residency and then citizenship and that is school requirement or military requirement or, you know, some sort of service and no disqualifying crime. That is your classic dream act.

Jose A. Cardenas: Is that what people are referring to as the clean dream act?

Larry Levi Sandigo: When people talk about the clean dream act they mean it is not tied to border security or interior enforcement. They are kind of like two distinct issues. Some of the dream acts that are being proposed that are further to left and more generalists are ones by the representative from Illinois that doesn't have an age even. Further to the right, you have proposals that wouldn't even grant a path to permanent status but rather would just codify the daca program in its temporary nature. So that is what is being put forward and what people are wanting to say is fine, we will give you the dream act but it has to include the wall, or enforcement for people who don't qualify for the dream act. What a lot of advocates are saying is we want a clean dream act. Not something that is going to negatively affect other dreamers or parts of the community.

Jose A. Cardenas: Realistically don't have have to be some kind of concessions? Even Flake's proposal

Larry Levi Sandigo: I think it depends on who you ask and what the trade off actually is. For a lot of people, interior enforcement is a non-starter. I think what a lot of times it can be characterized as it is protects dreamers but deports their parents and that is not workable. Other types of border security that are not the wall can be more paleable. It is symbolism for people.

Jose A. Cardenas: We heard if there was a straight up and down vote today it would pass. But there is a spending deal that speaker Ryan was talking about. Elaborate on that.

Larry Levi Sandigo: Speaker Ryan said part of the end of the year spending deal would include legislation to protect dreamers but it would include border security and interior enforcement. The white house responded saying they would not do something without the wall being included.

Jose A. Cardenas: Speaker Ryan didn't talk about the wall.

Larry Levi Sandigo: No, border secure. The white house has honed on the wall. Senator Harris from California today said she would not vote for any bill that did not include protection for dreamers.

Jose A. Cardenas: Your prediction. Are we going to see legislation acted on this calendar year?

Larry Levi Sandigo: I am optimistic.

Jose A. Cardenas: That will happen?

Larry Levi Sandigo: The spending bill has to be voted on in December so it would be in this calendar year.

Jose A. Cardenas: We will have you back to talk about it. St. Mary's Catholic High School is the oldest catholic high school in Arizona. This year the school is celebrating a special milestone, 100 years of catholic education. Joining me to education. Joining me to talk about this is Patrick Madigan, director of operations for St. Mary's Catholic High School.

Larry Levi Sandigo: American Immigration Lawyers Association

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