Ironically--Government Shutdown Allows Illegals to Stay in the U.S. LONGER
President Donald Trump shut down the government to get $5 billion in funding for his border wall, but the affect has been that migrants who are seeking asylum will get to stay in the United States longer, News radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The shutdown, which is now in its third week, has ground the immigration court system to a halt, meaning migrants who are awaiting their day in court are left in limbo.
San Antonio immigration attorney Jody Roselle with the immigrant rights group RAICES says it's frustrating.
"I can’t even get them a date where we can go fight in front of a judge and they're terrified. They're breaking down. They can't function."
She says migrants in Texas seeking asylum want to go before a judge, because while they wait, there is no access to jobs, driver's licenses or - in many cases- places to live. But there is a growing hope in the horizon that a deal could be reached.
There is a growing call in congress to link the border wall funding plan to protection for young migrants brought into the United States by their parents, who are currently covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
It has the support of Congressman Will Hurd (R-Helotes), who sees it as a real chance for the country to dip their toes into the debate over immigration reform.
DACA recipients, he says, see broad support.
"These are 1.2 million young men and women who have only known the United States of America as their home," he explains. "And we're at 3.8 unemployment which means every industry needs people."
But Congressman Joaquin Castro, who heads the powerful Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is skeptical about tying the border wall to DACA reform.
"There is 90-percent support around the country to allow (DACA recipients) to stay in the United States. There is about somewhere between 35 and 40-percent of people who support a wall."
But as the debate grows longer, more migrants are coming to the United States, seeking asylum and Roselle says the backlog in immigration court is only getting worse.
"I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there are going to be cases scheduled five years from now and it will be over one-million cases by the time this shutdown is resolved."