After the catastrophic first few months of the Trump administration, many in Congress want to address immigration legislatively. Apart from the anti-immigrant measures that are slowly wending their way through the House of Representatives, some in Congress are beginning to work for more positive changes.
Over the weekend a number of Congressional Representatives travelled to the southern border to meet with United States veterans in Tijuana, Mexico who were permanent residents of the United States but have now been deported. Most lost their status because of minor nonviolent crimes or immigration violations. There are 230 deported veterans currently, and seven members of Congress have taken up their cause.
The proposed Veterans Visa and Protection Act would halt further deportations and allow those already deported to return as long as they are not a danger to the United States. A second bill has been introduced that would require non-citizens in the armed forces to receive information on how to become a citizen as part of their basic training. There are currently over 10,000 non-citizens serving in the active-duty military.
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake said last week that Congress needs to address immigration reform later this year or in coming years. Flake told a chamber of commerce meeting that “we’ve got to” craft an immigration reform proposal.
Finally, last Thursday the Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals injunction blocking the latest version of the Muslim Travel Ban. Although the president’s lawyers have argued that the president’s executive order was not a Travel Ban, Trump himself Tweeted on Monday that “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” So I suppose that it is not a “Travel Ban” but it is a “TRAVEL BAN.”
While Trump’s lawyers have argued that the second Travel Ban was an entirely different animal from the clearly unconstitutional first Travel Ban, a second Trump Tweet on Monday calls the second ban a mere “watered down” version of the first ban. Trump Tweeted; “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C. [Supreme Court]” Mind you, the second travel ban was not issued by the Department of Justice. It was contained in an executive order signed by Donald Trump.