Rep. Esty: DACA deal unlikely in GOP-controlled House

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Beneficiaries of the soon-to-end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program received discouraging news in Danbury Wednesday from Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who says she doesn't think a DACA renewal deal is likely in the near future.

As News 12 Connecticut has reported, the program ends in March, and current beneficiaries could face deportation after it expires. DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, were illegally brought to the United States as children and have since grown up here.

Republican leaders in the Senate like Sen. John Cornyn of Texas have voiced support for working out a DACA solution.

But Esty says that regardless of what kind of agreement the Senate can reach on the fate of the Dreamers, the House is unlikely to take up a DACA bill that can actually make it to the president's desk.

"We have no pledge in the House," she says. "There's no deal in the House whatsoever."

In the House, which is more heavily controlled by Republicans, lawmakers are pushing a hardline DACA bill that includes money for President Donald Trump's border wall and a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities. And that bill isn't even a sure thing -- House Speaker Paul Ryan would have to allow a vote in the first place.

"For five years we haven't been allowed to debate or vote on any single bill at all on this," says Esty, a House Democrat from Cheshire.

And President Donald Trump himself has said he doesn't support any kind of DACA deal that doesn't include a border wall.

As for the Dreamers, with their fate uncertain, some are already seeing negative economic impacts.

"Companies, they're already terminating people," Esty says. "Saying we can't renew your contract.  We can't keep you on our payroll."

That leaves DACA beneficiaries like Camila Bortoletto in a tough place.

"You never know what's going to happen," she says. "You can never plan for your future."

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