House Republicans take a new immigration hostage: Immigrant kids in detention camps

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CBS News and other outlets have obtained  a discussion draft of the “compromise” bill moderate House Republicans have capitulated on, a bill that ups the hostage-taking by Republicans. Now it affects not just the Dreamers, the young immigrants brought to the country as children, but actual children—the ones currently being held in gulags and being ripped from their families are now being held hostage.

The draft language would stop the practice of separating families, saying “Accompanied alien minors apprehended at the border must not be separated from their parent or legal guardian while in DHS custody,” according to a summary. In exchange for not ripping families apart, Republicans are offering their usual raft of white supremacist-inspired policies as well as rolling back any idea of a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

It would include $25 billion in border wall funding. It would also eliminate the visa lottery program and shut down some family reunification visas—no more visas for for married children of U.S. citizens or siblings of adult U.S. citizens.

As for Dreamers, they don’t have a path to citizenship. A narrow subset of them (those who entered the country before June 15, 2007 and were under age 16 or under age 31 on June 15, 2012 and now have a high school diploma or GED and no criminal conviction) would be able to apply for a six-year nonimmigrant legal status. At the end of six years they would presumably have to reapply. Citizenship apparently would not be an option for them.

Republicans are going to offer this unacceptable bill and say that it’s Democrats’ fault that families are being ripped apart when they refuse to support it. The so-called moderate Republican stand with their discharge petition isn’t just ending with a whimper, it’s going down in flames.

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