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Court takes pressure off already sputtering Congress on DACA

By declining to immediately consider a case about a the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Monday, the Su...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 10:02 AM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 10:02 AM

By declining to immediately consider a case about a the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Monday, the Supreme Court handed Washington both a blessing and a curse: time.

Congress and the White House has already been floundering to come up with any compromise on DACA, the program that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children which President Donald Trump has decided to terminate.

On Monday, the Supreme Court gave them more reason to wait.

The court declined the administration's request for them to take a very rare step of bypassing the appellate courts to hear a challenge to the President's rescission of DACA. In doing so, the court allowed to stand federal judges' rulings that the Trump administration must resume renewals of DACA. That is now likely to remain in place for months if not longer given court schedules.

That decision effectively killed any sense of an impending March 5 deadline for action -- the date Trump had originally conceived as a deadline for the program to begin expiring.

That gives Congress and the White House breathing room before any potential deportations of the sympathetic population might begin, which could remove the one thing that spurs legislation in Congress the best -- deadlines.

"We don't do well when we have more time," said Republican Sen. John Cornyn. "We need a deadline and we need to act. ... I think it would be foolish for us to assume that the courts are going to save us from having to make a decision."

After the Senate failed earlier this month to advance a single bipartisan proposal to pass a bipartisan bill combining DACA with border security funds, and with the House struggling to find votes for any type of bill Republicans will back, the lack of pressure leaves DACA in limbo indefinitely.

The calculus for lawmakers has long been that the other side will feel more willing to compromise in negotiations as the threat of looming deportations neared. Now, both sides were urging action, but without a clear sense of pressure.

Democrats especially sought to handle the ruling carefully, hailing it as a victory but not permanent.

"Congress should have acted last year," said Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy. "It takes some pressure off but we still have to act."

"I know that we need to keep working," echoed Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.

Some, though, hoped that more time could give both sides room to regroup after the failure on the Senate floor.

"It could actually help a little bit by giving us a little more time ... cool off a little bit," said South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who urged Trump to engage and work with Congress to find a deal.

Advocates said in a call with reporters on Monday that they're still planning a day of action in Washington on March 5, expecting more than 1,000 people to come in, even though the date has no actual significance other than symbolism.

In the meantime, discussion of possibly using a government funding package Congress must write by March 23 as leverage is already circulating.

"My fear is that we're going to wind up punting, and the omnibus will basically extend DACA ... with some border security money, sort of punt the issue for a couple of years," Graham said.

"I don't know what the Democrats' play will be and how willing they'll be to hold out," said Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, who has worked with Graham and Democrats to try to pass a DACA fix. "We'll see."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17807191
Hinds16967332
Harrison14298204
Rankin11280221
Jackson10976190
Lee9088145
Madison8619169
Jones6782118
Forrest6236124
Lauderdale6128192
Lowndes5564120
Lafayette5229101
Lamar507465
Washington4951125
Bolivar4149109
Oktibbeha409482
Panola388281
Pontotoc378560
Warren3698103
Monroe3693110
Marshall358570
Union357764
Pearl River3508106
Neshoba3499154
Leflore3122109
Lincoln307688
Hancock296362
Sunflower293075
Tate281162
Alcorn273554
Pike271081
Itawamba270063
Scott260849
Yazoo257156
Prentiss254554
Coahoma251555
Copiah250749
Tippah250150
Simpson243872
Leake238467
Marion225973
Grenada224272
Covington222473
Adams215371
Wayne215034
Winston207771
George204839
Newton200046
Attala197464
Tishomingo195661
Chickasaw189644
Jasper182538
Holmes172268
Clay167537
Tallahatchie157535
Stone152925
Clarke148662
Calhoun141822
Smith130726
Yalobusha123835
Walthall115037
Greene114529
Noxubee114126
Montgomery112736
Lawrence107617
Carroll106922
Perry105331
Amite102426
Webster97424
Claiborne89725
Tunica89321
Jefferson Davis88930
Benton86523
Humphreys84824
Kemper81020
Quitman7149
Franklin70717
Choctaw63813
Wilkinson59925
Jefferson57121
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
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