By Nathan Hart | McClatchy Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, wants the Senate to permit people brought to the U.S. as children to stay in this country permanently.
Cornyn joined Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, in a letter this week asking Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, to consider a bill that would give permanent legal status to temporary residents allowed to stay in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
DACA began as an Obama-era policy that allows children brought to the U.S. unlawfully to acquire work permits and avoid deportation. The Trump administration announced its plans to end the policy in 2017 but was blocked from doing so by court rulings.
“It was created to try to work to address the hardship experienced by the subset of the undocumented population that has been here in the U.S. since a very young age and largely knows no country other than the U.S. People that are, very much, you know, Americans in all aspects with the exception of immigration status,” American Immigration Council Policy Director Jorge Loweree told the Star-Telegram. The American Immigration Council is a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy group for immigrants.
Cornyn and Tillis asked Durbin to focus on DACA instead of another bill, the American Dream and Promise Act, that would provide a citizenship path for children brought into the U.S. The two Republicans said, “There is no clear and politically viable path forward for such legislation in Congress.”
Cornyn’s proposal of “permanent legal status” is vague and could refer to a number of things from green cards to full-blown citizenship. Cornyn’s office did not clarify what it meant by “permanent legal status.”
The other bill the committee is considering, the American Dream and Promise Act, passed the House in March on a party-line vote.
Durbin could not be reached for comment.