He’s BACK …. Erik Paulsen has returned from his August recess to issue a new video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed.
The MN Political Roundtable will be evaluating Congressman Paulsen’s responses and encouraging readers to offer their own assessments.
Today’s topic DACA
Tomorrow’s topic Harvey.
Responding to an email from Nicole of Rogers, Congressman Erik Paulsen welcomed President Trump’s tweet calling for congressional action on as he terminates the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Because DACA is not legislation, merely administrative policy, President Trump can end it unless Congress enacts it.
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
Yep, Congressman Paulsen expressed support for border security and visa modifications while acknowledging that these individuals “are essentially Americans”.
It was a very telling response … no mention of how these “Americans” can actually become citizens with full rights of citizenship.
Considering that John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, said 95 percent of DACA recipients are enrolled in school or are in the workforce, and that the Center for American Progress reports that ending DACA would cost Minnesota more than $367 million in annual GDP losses, how telling is it that Congressman Paulsen mentions funding border security and modifying the visa system ?
Under DACA, these individuals who “are essentially Americans” had to entered the United States before reaching their 16th birthday and have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, so building Trump’s Border Wall will help how ?
Congressman Paulsen has track record on the DACA issue … and legislation that he has embraced or failed to sponsor is very telling.
A little history here.
DACA has its roots in the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill first introduced in 2001.
In 2010, the House considered the DREAM Act, legislation to address the young immigrants who were brought here illegally as children by their parents and have seen their lives stall after they graduate from high school because they lack legal status. The Congressional Budget Office concluded that the House bill would reduce the federal deficit by $2.2 billion before 2020 …
OK … sounds simple right … a way to acknowledging that these individuals “are essentially Americans” and save money … yet while the majority of the House approved the DREAM Act, the #MathGuy, Congressman Paulsen voted NO.
That legislation died when the Senate failed to act.
On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration created DACA — a process for qualifying undocumented youth to request prosecutorial discretion to defer deportation for a period of time. Currently DACA protection from deportation and legal authorization to work in the U.S. is valid for two or three years, depending on when a person’s application was approved. DACA is currently renewable. The applicant must pay a $465 fee and there is no appeal if the application is denied.
That did not sit well with some Members of Congress … leading to votes to defund the program.
Thus in a series of votes ( notably, June 6, 2013, Aug. 1, 2014, Dec. 4, 2014, and Jan. 14, 2015), Congressman Paulsen voted with a majority of Republicans to end DACA.
Where House Republicans have failed with President Obama holding a veto threat, President Trump is now ready to act.
And there are a number of pieces of legislation that he could sponsor
H.R.496 – Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act or the “BRIDGE Act” Act has 30 bipartisan sponsors
H.R.1468 – Recognizing America’s Children Act has 30 Republican sponsors
H.R.3440 – Dream Act of 2017 has 192 bipartisan sponsors
But, NO, Congressman Paulsen has not sponsored these legislative proposals … instead he is once again pushing H.R.2717 – “STAPLE Act” … which stands for “Stopping Trained in America Ph.D.s From Leaving the Economy Act of 2017”
Yep, the 2017 version is back. Congressman Paulsen first introduced his first version on March 15, 2013 gathering five cosponsors, that was reintroduced on April 30 as H.R.2181 garnering three cosponsors and this year’s version, H.R.2717, which was introduced May 25, 2017 and presently has one cosponsors.
The STAPLE bill would authorize those who have earned a Ph.D. degree from a United States institution of higher education in a field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics to be admitted for permanent residence and to be exempted from the numerical limitations on H-1B nonimmigrant visas.
That’s what Congressman Paulsen is focused on when he cites his interest in visa modifications.
Like many of Congressman Paulsen’s Correspondence Corner segments, his offers an encouraging response that does not hold up under scrutiny.
Ya gotta ask, based on Congressman Paulsen’s track record, do you really think he will do anything to help anyone who isn’t here with a PhDs ?