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DACA recipients remain frustrated as Democrats ponder unilateral moves

Martin Batalia Vidal
Posted at 1:19 PM, Jul 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Like more than 600,000 other immigrants, Monica Camacho Perez is a DACA recipient, a Dreamer who came to the United States illegally as a child and was granted legal protections under former President Barack Obama nearly ten years ago.

When we first met her 7 months ago, she expressed optimism that a new administration would quickly take steps to end her years of uncertainty.

Has anything changed?


"I'm tired of being tired, honestly," Perez told E.W. Scripps National Political Editor Joe St. George.

Perez said, to some degree, she feels worse now than she did back in December.

Not only has Congress passed zero immigration laws, a federal judge ruled recently that new applications to DACA can't be processed.

"I don't know anymore, honestly," Perez said.


Vice President Kamala Harris met with DACA recipients Thursday amid reports some Democrats in the Senate were considering unilateral changes to DACA and including it in an upcoming spending bill.

That bill, which has yet to be written or finalized, is being crafted to include trillions of dollars worth of progressive priorities.

It's expected to receive zero Republican votes.

But can Democrats even do that?


The person deciding that is Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough.

The job may sound obscure, but she is responsible for deciding what policy changes can be included in a bill meant to pass via reconciliation in the Senate.

Reconciliation is the senate procedure that allows certain bills to pass with a simple majority.

Traditionally, 60 votes are first needed in the Senate to thwart the filibuster.

Under normal rules, senators can include whatever they want in a piece of legislation, but the reconciliation process has limits.

For instance, MacDonough ruled that senators can't try and pass minimum wage rate changes via reconciliation.

MacDonough's ruling on DACA may decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers like Perez.

"My community can't wait any longer," Perez said.