Biden has made clear that passing legislation enshrining DACA should be the floor for action on immigration.
“If you don’t like my plan, let’s at least pass what we all agree on,” Biden said in his address before the joint session of Congress last month. “Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for Dreamers — the young people who have only known America as their home.”
To be certain, there’s been little sign of progress on Capitol Hill.
A bipartisan group of senators led by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas — two veterans of immigration debates — appears to have hit a stalemate, with only halting progress despite weeks of private meetings.
A more narrow House-passed measure focused on DACA and another bill to revamp rules for farm workers has almost zero chance of passage in the Senate.
It’s a familiar political standoff as Republicans are focused on the problems at the border, while Democrats want to consider changes to the immigration system.
Ali Noorani, president of the National Immigration Forum, said the meeting with the DACA recipients — a group often referred to by immigration advocates as “Dreamers” based on never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act— is a positive development.