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Continuing Resolutions 'No Way to Run a Business,' Says Congressional DACA Proponent

WASHINGTON – Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) gathered with immigrant-rights activist groups to push for passage of the DREAM Act after it was left out of the short-term spending bill that extended the budget deadline to this Thursday.

Advocates from United We Dream protested outside of the Capitol building last month, asking for passage of a pathway to citizenship for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally and chanting, “If we don’t get it, shut it down.” Activists also laid down a banner on the floor of the Russell Senate Office Building that read, “GOP Don’t Hold DREAM Act Hostage.”

After a recent federal court ruling, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is accepting status renewal requests from beneficiaries of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Trump rescinded last year. The original end date for the program was set for March 5 but no end date was established for the renewal requests after the court order. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has said it plans to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

“USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients. If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request,” the USCIS website read.

Despite the continuation of the DACA renewal process, Castro argued that congressional Republicans should stop delaying the process to reach a solution on the DACA issue.

“I think the members of Congress are listening to the American people that the American people want us to get certain things done including a permanent fix for CHIP, including DACA, which as I mentioned in the press conference is supported by about 83 percent of Americans, and they also don’t want us to keep kicking the can down the road,” he recently told PJM.

“This is something like four short-term extensions in a matter of a few months so, yeah, I don’t think that the American people want the government to run like this. This is no way to run a business, and so I think you see that sentiment reflected here right now,” he added.

Other Democratic lawmakers have been critical of the Republican majority’s use of short-term budget bills or continuing resolutions (CRs). In the past, both parties used CRs frequently. When the Democrats controlled Congress from 2009-2011, they had passed CRs in place of a full budget. Congress did not pass a budget for the entire fiscal year under President Obama until 2015 when Republicans had control of both the House and Senate.

“We have been skating by on continuing resolution after continuing resolution for almost 6 months. First, we passed a 3-month CR, then a 2-wk CR, then a 1-month CR. Now we are offered another month-long delay of the inevitable. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted ahead of last month’s brief government shutdown.