Camila DeChalus

House Democrats Rebuffed on Getting Census Documents
Quest to get answers on citizenship question blocked by party-line committee vote

House Democrats tried this week to make the Commerce Department disclose documents about the decision-making behind a citizenship question on the 2020 census. But they were blocked by Republicans. 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday voted 20-16 along party lines to reject the resolution of inquiry by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez and unfavorably report the measure. The vote prevents the resolution from moving to the House floor.

Also in the Omnibus: Extra Overtime for the Secret Service
Agents have been stretched thin as Trump travels

The Secret Service is slated to receive about $2 billion in the fiscal 2018 omnibus bill, including $9.9 million to pay agents for overtime.

The agency’s funding is down $53 million from fiscal 2017 levels, according to a Republican summary of the bill that passed the House Thursday.

Members Caught Off Guard on News of DACA Fix On Omnibus

The White House has held some discussions with Congress about addressing immigration in the pending fiscal year 2018 spending bill, according to GOP senators and aides, but members are skeptical that such a provision will be included in the omnibus package.

Lawmakers in both parties have sought a solution to the situation surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which covers undocumented immigrants who come to the country as children. President Donald Trump targeted it for expiration on March 5, which has been halted by court actions. The chamber voted on a series of different DACA proposals in February, but none garnered the necessary 60 votes to advance.

Omnibus Unlikely to Defund 'Sanctuary' Cities
Senate appropriator says it would make it too difficult to pass

A top Senate appropriator said Tuesday the final omnibus spending bill would likely not include a provision to defund “sanctuary” cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., suggested in two posts on Twitter that Congress should withhold federal grants for sanctuary cities in the omnibus. His remarks follow the Trump administration’s decision to sue California over three state immigration laws, escalating a battle over sanctuary jurisdictions that began shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

Border Wall Funds Elusive Without a Deal on ‘Dreamers’
Stalemate could affect negotiations over fiscal 2018 spending bill

President Donald Trump may be headed for a Groundhog Day experience as his search for funding to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall enters its second year.

Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion in fiscal 2019 to construct 65 miles of new barriers in southern Texas, even though he is still without the $1.6 billion he requested for 2018. The White House also wants $18 billion over the next decade for construction.

The ICE Man Cometh, Prompting a New Look at E-Verify
After high-profile federal raids, Congress is revisiting an employment verification system

When federal agents arrived at nearly 100 7-Eleven locations across the country last month to check the paperwork of store clerks selling Big Gulps and coffee, it was the clearest sign that President Donald Trump is serious about taking on employers who illegally hire undocumented immigrants.

Twenty-one arrests were made during the Jan. 10 raids at convenience stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia in what was the Trump administration’s strongest action yet targeting employers. Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said at the time that the raids sent “a strong message” to employers that “ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”

A Dream Deferred for Young Immigrants at State of the Union
Guests at speech taken aback by hard-line talk from president

Dozens of young immigrants sat in the pews as President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Many of the young immigrants, known as Dreamers, were invited by lawmakers to attend the speech and remind the president that their lives are stuck in limbo.

Podcast: Immigration Imbroglio
CQ on Congress, Episode 86

CQ immigration reporters Camila DeChalus and Dean DeChiaro dig into the complications of finding an agreement to safeguard immigrants with special protections while funding a border wall demanded by the Trump administration.

Show Notes:

Protected Immigration Status for Salvadorans to End in 2019
Democrats blast DHS decision amid DACA, border wall dispute

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it will terminate a form of protected immigration status for about 262,500 Salvadorans living in the United States next year, and urged Congress to come up with a legislative fix during an 18-month delay.

The decision to end what’s known as Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador comes after DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen determined “the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist.”