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Caribbean/American congresswoman blames Trump for DACA crisis

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — Caribbean/American Congresswoman Yvette Clarke has blamed US President Donald Trump for the crisis surrounding the fate of the so-called Caribbean and other “Dreamers”.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) yesterday that the president created “a crisis by ending DACA [Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals], (and) called on Congress to work together to solve it.”

But Clarke, who represents the ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn, said Trump “continues to torpedo bipartisan deal after bipartisan deal, while offering an immigration framework that is cruel, vindictive and heartless.

“Over 100 Dreamers are deported daily, and we are quickly approaching the March 5th deadline,” she said.

“If Donald Trump cannot lead, he must get out of the way and let the Congress do its job in a bipartisan fashion, and save DACA.”

March 5 is the day that Trump has set the DACA programme to expire. The programme protects about 690,000 Caribbean and other Dreamers from deportation and allows them to work, study or join the military. But Trump rescinded DACA, leaving it to Congress to find a replacement.

After the week began with the promise of an extraordinarily open, free-ranging debate on immigration, senators on Thursday struck down measure after measure, leaving into question whether any solution on the Dreamers can be reached.

In a rebuke to Trump, senators voted overwhelmingly, 39 to 60, against the White House-backed bill, which would have committed US$25 billion for a wall along the border with Mexico, placed strict limits on legal immigration, ended the diversity visa lottery and offered 1.8 million Dreamers an eventual path to citizenship.

Senators were 21 votes short of the 60 required to open debate, with the rejection of the president’s plan bipartisan: Democrats refused its get-tough approach to legal immigration, while many conservative Republicans derided it as amnesty.

Before the vote on Trump’s plan, senators rejected two bipartisan measures, including one written by Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, and another drafted by a broad bipartisan group of centrists calling themselves the Common Sense Coalition.

The estimated 690,000 young, undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants have been protected from deportation, until March 5, by DACA, and another 1.1 million would be eligible.

However, some Dreamers, many of whom have known no country other than the United States, are hopeful that the judicial system will protect them.

Meanwhile, two federal courts have issued injunctions ordering the Trump administration to keep DACA in place for those already receiving its protections, but the US Justice Department has asked the US Supreme Court to intervene and overturn lower court rulings.

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