The situation will become more complicated for all undocumented people, after they were used during the political campaign to scare voters. However, Dreamers are especially vulnerable because they have given their information to the federal government and because Trump has made eliminating DACA, the executive order made by President Obama protecting them from deportation, one of his priorities.
At the moment, the only way to ensure that these 750,000 youths will be protected is if Obama grants them a presidential pardon before he leaves office. It is indispensable for the leader to take this action.
The outlook needs to be particularly bleak for uncertainty to be seen as a positive prospect. That is the reality after the president-elect’s recent comments that “we’re going to work something out” for Dreamers and that “on a humanitarian basis, it’s a very tough situation.”
Words without action mean nothing. However, it is quite a change for Trump to admit the complexity of the case of Dreamers, as is the fact that, in the same interview, he admitted that foreign workers are necessary. The statement would have been unthinkable during the campaign.
In Trump’s case, the meaning and reach of his comments is not clear. What is unquestionable is that a bipartisan effort is being carried out in the Senate, spearheaded by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Dick Durbin, to have a bill ready to prevent the deportation of Dreamers until some sort of immigration law addresses their situation. Republican senators for Arizona Jeff Flake and John McCain also support the measure.
The interest shown by some Republican legislators to find a humanitarian path for people who are not responsible for being undocumented is positive. That does not mean that the Lower Chamber will approve a bill of this type; they are likely to block it the way they did with immigration reform during Congress’ last session.
All this shows that immigration remains an issue that profoundly divides Republicans, even after the campaign. That is why we cannot rely on what may happen in the Senate. That is why it is more important than ever that President Obama grants this pardon.