Senate panel to hold DACA hearing next week

Senate panel to hold DACA hearing next week
© Keren Carrion

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an immigration hearing next week, including reviewing a key Obama-era program the Trump administration announced it is winding down.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Thanks to the farm lobby, the US is stuck with a broken ethanol policy MORE's office announced that the panel, which the Iowa Republican chairs, will hold a hearing Wednesday on reforms to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the guest worker program.

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The full title of the hearing is the "the long-term impact of immigration: exploring reforms to our nation’s guest worker programs and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and their potential impact on the American economy and local communities."

Officials from the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security, as well as immigration and economic outside groups, are expected to testify.

The announcement comes after Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Air Force makes criminal reporting changes after Texas massacre We need a better pathway for allowing civilians to move guns across state lines MORE (R-Texas) told reporters earlier Wednesday that the committee would hold a DACA-related hearing next week.

"Chairman Grassley of the Judiciary Committee intends to hold a hearing to address DACA and other matters," said Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that the Trump administration would end DACA, and he and President Trump both called on Congress to find a legislative solution.

The hearing comes as senators from both parties have said they want to deal with the program, but a path forward or a timeline remains unclear.

Democrats are warning that if they didn't get a "clean" vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) by the end of September, they will try to attach the proposal to other must-pass bills in the fall.

The DREAM Act would allow children brought to the United States illegally to continue to live and work freely in the country without fear of deportation, similar to DACA.

But Republicans are signaling they think the legislation should be tied to border security and have floated a trade for Trump’s proposed southern border wall.

Cornyn shot down the chance on Tuesday that a DACA-related bill would move as a stand-alone or be resolved in September.

"There's no way...We will take that up, I'm confident, but there's no way it will stand alone," he told reporters. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.), who has introduced the DREAM Act, separately told reporters on Wednesday that he thought the bill paired with border enforcement would be able to get support.