Little immigration business is scheduled in Congress during the week beginning June 1, 2020. While the full Senate will be in session during the week, it will be considering nominations and is not expected to take up any significant legislation. The full House will not be in legislative session during the week. While several remote hearings are scheduled in the House, none of them are likely to touch on immigration, refugees, or human trafficking.
- SCOTUS Decision on DACA. a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on the legality of President Trump's efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is likely in June..
- Suspension of Immigration. The President is likely this month to decide whether his Administration will continue the suspension of most immigration to the United States.
- COVID-19 Legislation. Pitched negotiations are likely to take place during June between the White House, the Republican-controlled Senate, and the Democratic-controlled House over the next phase of COVID-19 relief legislation.
- Regular FY '21 Appropriations Bills. The House and Senate are expected beginning late this month to take the beginning steps in producing the 12 regular fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills.
The subjects of immigration and refugees will be heavily implicated in each of those battles.
As far as the week beginning June 1 is concerned, though, from the perspective of those interested in immigration, refugee, homeland security, or human trafficking policy, the week's schedule includes just one hearing or briefing that is likely to touch on thoe matters, (occurring in the Senate) and no scheduled markups or floor actions in either the House or the Senate.
If, as many expect, when the Court renders its decision it permits the Administration to end DACA, that likely will set off a pitched political battle in Congress as immigration advocates pressure the Senate to act on legislation to provide relief to a sympathetic group of migrants, many of whom were brought to the United States through no fault of their own and have lived most of their lives in the United States.
The House of Representatives last year passed H.R. 6, the "American Dream and Promise Act of 2019", which would provide relief to DACA beneficiaries, as well as to individuals in the United States who have received protection under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) orders. However, most Republican senators have avoided taking a position on the bill, with some suggesting they could only support very limited relief for DACA beneficiaries at the price of ending most family-based legal immigration to the United States.
SCOTUS decisions are generally handed down on Mondays and are typically completed by the end of June, although the schedule this year could be impacted by coronavirus.
The President is expected to decide by mid-June whether to permit the suspension to continue, to terminate it, or to expand it.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6800 , the "Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act", on Friday, May 15, 2020. Among its many provisions are several relating to immigration and immigrants, including provisions providing for the issuance of stimulus payments to households that include unauthorized migrants; extensions of status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries; extensions of expired and expiring employment authorization documents (EADs); roll-over of unused visas into future years; relief from detention for certain immigration detainees; heightened detention standards for immigration detainees; eased immigrant and nonimmigrant pathways for foreign-born medical professionals; access to COVID-19 testing and treatment without regard to immigration status; and remote naturalization oath.
Getting the Senate to go along with all or any of those provisions will be a heavy lift.
- The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill each year funds the federal government's immigration court-related agencies, programs, functions, and activities.
- The Homeland Security Appropriations Bill each year funds the federal government's interior immigration enforcement-, border security-, and immigration services-related agencies, programs, functions, and activities.
- The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill each year funds the federal government's refugee resettlement, unaccompanied alien children, trafficking victim assistance, and torture victim assistance -related agencies, programs, functions, and activities.
- The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill each year, funds the federal government's refugee admissions- and overseas refugee assistance-related agencies, programs, functions, and activities.
- Hearing on Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19: The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing titled, "Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19."