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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.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
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