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  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Shutdown Package Includes DACA, Immigration Reforms

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
    Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst

    Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Jan. 22 introduced the End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act (S.Amdt 5 to H.R. 268), which would end the current partial government shutdown [see related story] and provide temporary status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in exchange for $5.7 billion for a border wall. This legislation is in line with President Trump’s proposed deal to reopen the government.

    Important immigration provisions for academic medicine include:

    • A revised BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act (H.R. 496), a proposal from former Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) that was introduced in the 115th Congress. This section would provide DACA recipients with a 3-year temporary provisional protected presence and employment authorization.
    • Extension of the Conrad 30 J-1 waiver program through Sept. 30.

    Democrats objected to the plan due to provisions that end in-country asylum for unaccompanied alien children and a 3-year temporary “provisional protected presence” for immigrants who entered the United States with Temporary Protected Status.

    Concurrently, the Supreme Court Jan. 22 announced they will take no action on the administration’s plan to shut down the DACA program. As a result, lower court rulings will stand, ensuring that current DACA recipients will continue to receive protections. The Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the administration’s challenge to the DACA program in 2019.