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08/20/2019 17B Status Report on Federal Immigration-Related Legislation BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEM ENT Item No. 17.B. For Meeting of:August 20, 2019 ITEM TITLE: Status Report on Federal Immigration-Related Legislation SUBMITTED BY: Randy Beehler, Communications & Public Affairs Director SUMMARY EXPLANATION: At the Council's July 6th regular meeting, Council directed staff to prepare a report on the status of federal immigration-related legislation. Included in the August 20th Council regular meeting packet is a report in response to that Council direction. ITEM BUDGETED: NA STRATEGIC PRIORITY: NA APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL: City Manager STAFF RECOMMENDATION: N/A BOARD/COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: N/A ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date Type e o- tants e rt en F eral I mi ration- elat / 01 r e o Le islation tatus e rt on eral I mi ration- elat CI Ir e o Le islation 2 MENOMULON To: Yakima City Council Members From: Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler Subject: Status Report on Federal Immigration-Related Legislation Date: Thursday, August 15'h, 2019 Council members, At the Council's July 6th regular meeting, City staff was directed by the Council to have prepared a report on the status of federal immigration-related legislation. Included in the August 20th Council regular meeting packet is a report in response to that Council direction. The status report on federal immigration-related legislation was prepared by June DeHart, the City's contract lobbyists in Washington, D.C. The report includes all known immigration-related legislation that has been introduced recently in Congress. The report also includes policy changes that have been proposed by the White House that are related to immigration. Additionally, the report references a U.S. Supreme Court decision that affects border wall funding. Please let me know if you have questions or need more information about this issue prior to the Council's August 20th regular meeting. 3 Status Report on Federal Immigration-Related Legislation White House Immigration Bill: In mid-July, the White House announced they have a 620 page immigration proposal that is being ready for introduction in Congress. A group of 10 Republican Senators have reportedly agreed to serve as cosponsors of the legislation. While details are still scarce, this bill apparently builds on the blueprint that the president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner announced in May. That blueprint, billed as a comprehensive immigration reform proposal, only addressed border security and legal immigration and not the millions of people currently in this country illegally. Without provisions that address that segment of the populations, particularly those brought to this country as children (i.e. Dreamers), it has no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled House and would likely struggle to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate as well. Border Detention Crisis: On June 27th, Congress passed a long awaited $4.6 billion emergency spending bill for the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate passed a bipartisan bill on an 84-8 margin earlier in the week and, for a time, it seemed as though the House might object to this compromise. Many in the Democratic majority wanted to pass their own version with additional health and safety protections for unaccompanied minors and restrictions on the administration's use of funds, but that effort collapsed once it became clear there was little appetite amongst moderates in the caucus or their Senate counterparts for an extended fight on the issue. On Wednesday, July 24th, the House passed H.R. 3239, a bill that contains many of the provisions progressives wanted in the larger border bill. It would require Customs and Border Protection to provide detainees at the border with minimum standards of health care, hygiene, food, and shelter to alleviate current conditions that members find unacceptable. The legislation would also bar CBP from denying lawmakers access to CBP facilities. This bill is unlikely to be taken up by the Senate and the White Houses has promised to veto it, if necessary. House Democrats were also gearing up to pass H.R. 2203, a bill that would change DHS detention practices, institute new education and training requirements for CBP and ICE personnel and block the administration's proposed changes to the asylum system (more on that below). However, leadership decided to pull the bill when some members raised concerns with certain provisions including those that would make border officers subject to substantial fines. Majority Leader Hoyer has said that they plan to take up and pass the bill when they return in September. Finally, there is a possibility that Democrats in the House use their leverage to force changes to the Trump administration's migrant detention policies through the 2020 DHS Appropriations bill. Progressives and members from border districts have been pushing leadership to include riders in the spending bill to address the conditions at detention centers. Asylum Changes: On Monday, July 15th, the Trump administration announced a new policy aimed at ending asylum protections for migrants arriving at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. This new policy would require asylum seekers who pass through another country before arriving in the U.S. to first apply for asylum in that country. If they do not, they will not be eligible for asylum in the United States. This policy change raised immediate legal challenges from the ACLU, who called the rule "patently unlawful," and other groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights. On July 24th, a U.S. District Judge in California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the new asylum restrictions, saying that the rule likely violated federal law by "categorically denying asylum to almost anyone crossing the border." He also notes that there exists a "mountain" of evidence that asylum seekers in Mexico are not safe. On the same day, another District Judge in 4 Washington D.C. declined to issue a stay, saying that the plaintiffs failed to show how asylum seekers would be affected by the rule change. Dreamers/DACA: On June 4th, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act, an updated version of the old Dream Act that would grant dreamers 10 years of legal residence status if they meet certain requirements. The tally was 237-187, largely along party lines although seven Republicans broke ranks to vote with the majority. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate, but it is unlikely that Senator McConnell will bring it up for a vote. Border Wall: On Friday, July 26th, the Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision to allow the Trump administration to use $2.5 billion in funds that had been appropriated to the DOD for border wall construction while other litigation over the legality of the matter as w whole proceeds. The 5-4 decision was unsigned and noted that the groups challenging the White House lack standing. Those groups in turn argue that the administration does not have the authority to circumvent Congress, which has thus far declined to appropriate funds for a wall. Other ICE Legislation Introduced: • H.R.1013 - ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act (Espaillat D-NY) Would require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers to wear body cameras when engaged in official operations • H.R.3451 - Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act of 2019 (Roybal-Allard D-CA) This bill would let parents communicate with their children before being separated, allow detained parents to communicate with their children while the parents are in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, and require ICE to consider the best interest of the children in the detention, release, or transfer of their parents. • H.R.2522 - HUMANE Act of 2019 (Cuellar D-TX) S.1303 - HUMANE Act of 2019 (Cornyn R-TX) These bills would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to address the protective custody of alien children accompanied by parents. • H.R.1397 - Notify ICE Act (Cline R-VA) Would require the national instant criminal background check system to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of firearm transfer denials by reason of illegal or unlawful presence in the United States. • H.R.1998 - Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2019 (Torres D-CA) This bill directs DHS to prevent disclosing information from applications to the DACA program to ICE or CBP, except to implement the program.