Monday, January 26, 2015

GOP changes their bill to take work permits away from 580,000 immigrants

John Boehner doesn't know. And if he does, he's not telling. Win McNamee/Getty

On Friday night, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill to prevent the Obama administration from giving work permits or protection from deportation to young unauthorized immigrants who would have qualified for the DREAM Act.

That was a clear enough stand for them. Until it wasn't.

There are 580,000 immigrants who have already gotten two-year protection and work permits under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Next month, those initial grants will start running out. Recipients have already started applying for renewals for another two years.

The bill the GOP introduced wasn't clear about whether it would keep current DACA recipients from renewing, or just stop new DACA grants. On Friday afternoon, Republicans refused to clarify, insisting the bill was clear:

But on Friday evening, Republican sources told Politico that the language wasn't clear enough after all. They confirmed they would change the language to make sure that none of the 580,000 current DACA beneficiaries could renew.

By definition, no one who's up for DACA renewal in the next several months has been in the US for less than seven years. And to be eligible for renewal, immigrants have to have been either working during the two years they've had DACA protection, or getting a college or graduate degree. But the GOP appears to believe that allowing these immigrants to be deported is what it takes to stop Central American children and families from coming to the US.

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