Dreamers concerned after DACA not part of $1.3 trillion budget
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A $1.3 trillion plan to keep the federal government running through September is in the hands of the U.S. Senate.
The House signed off on the budget Thursday less than 24 hours after it was announced.
It will provide money to White House priorities like a border wall and the military, but also boost domestic spending on infrastructure and healthcare.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) called the proposed budget "grotesque."
However, the spending bill does not resolve the uncertain fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.
"It's very disappointing that once again Congress has kicked the can down the road and they have failed to find a permanent solution--not even a patch to this issue," Mauricio Calvo with Latino Memphis said.
The 2,232-page plan, which now awaits Senate approval, lacks language renewing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Democrats and Republicans removed the issue of immigration from the budget altogether.
"The parties basically decided to remove that issue, to separate that issue out. Maybe they will address it in the coming weeks, but there is no guarantee they will. And there is no deadline forcing them to address that," University of Memphis political science professor Michael Sances said.
It's an issue that shut down the government earlier this year when lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement on funding.
Dreamers are feeling left on the back-burner, and their fear of deportation growing.
"They are unable to do something constructive yet they were able to put $1.6 billion, or something, into enforcement," Calvo said.
Trump is now poised to win $1.6 billion for barriers along the U.S./Mexican border.
Calvo said it's time lawmakers make the issue of immigration a priority--to see immigrants as a source of revenue, not a burden on the government.
It's why he and others took their concerns to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, asking lawmakers for change.
"It's really a shame that they are unable to do this again," he said.
President Donald Trump has promised to sign the bill that now awaits Senate approval before the Friday's midnight deadline.
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