United States: US House Discharge Petition Could Lead To DACA-Related Solution

Keywords: Americas; Asia; Europe; Middle East; Employment & Benefits; Global Mobility & Migration

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has sought an unconventional route to address the status of undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children ("DREAMers").1   Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) have led an effort to get a majority of members of the House of Representatives to sign a "discharge petition" that would bring four different immigration proposals for debate and voting on the House floor as soon as June 25, 2018.

Many DREAMers have benefitted from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),2 which the Trump Administration has sought to replace as part of its Framework on Immigration Reform and Border Security ("the White House Framework"). DACA-related proposals, however, have failed to move through the committee process in the House. The bipartisan group of lawmakers who have signed the discharge petition can force a vote in the House on four immigration proposals if they can obtain 218 signatures on the discharge petition. 

Reaching the requisite number of signatures in the House is the first of several hurdles to achieving a compromise on DREAMers and other immigration matters. Although the Republican leadership has suggested that the petition will gain the required signatures in the coming weeks, the House must then approve one or more immigration proposals, each of which must then be approved by the Senate and signed by President Trump. 

President Trump has suggested that he will likely veto any proposal that does not align with the White House Framework. The Framework includes a 10-12-year path to citizenship for the 700,000 DACA recipients, as well as other DACA-eligible immigrants, under revised criteria that could benefit an estimated 1.8 million individuals. But relief for the DREAMers would come at a cost. In addition to this measure, the White House Framework includes the following provisions:

  • Border security measures, including a $25 billion trust fund for a "border wall system," funding for additional Department of Homeland Security personnel, an end to "catch and release," increased funding for detention, expanded use of expedited removal, measures to prevent the importing of synthetic drugs, and "immigration court reforms to improve efficiency and prevent fraud and abuse."
  • Limiting family sponsorships to spouses and minor children in an effort to end "extended-family chain migration," which currently includes adult sons and daughters and siblings of US citizens in the family-based sponsorship categories.
  • Elimination of the Diversity Visa lottery program under which 50,000 citizens of underrepresented countries are admitted to the United States each year and "repurposing" the lottery visa numbers to help reduce the family-based and highly skilled employment visa backlogs.

If the discharge petition is successful, four different proposals would be debated on the House floor. The lineup includes three competing immigration compromises and a bill to be selected by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). The three competing compromises include:

  1. A proposal by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) that closely aligns with the White House Framework;
  2. A proposal by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) that would provide permanent resident status and a pathway to citizenship for existing DREAMers; and
  3. A middle-ground proposal by Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) that provides DREAMers with permanent resident status and a pathway to citizenship, while also eliminating some education benefits for undocumented students, increasing spending on border security and immigration courts, and increasing US presence in Central America.

The bill proposed by Rep. Goodlatte, H.R. 4760 – Securing America's Future Act of 2018, contains the following provisions to revise immigrant visa allocation provisions, including family-related visas, as well as provisions to enhance immigration-related enforcement:

  • Make DACA beneficiaries eligible for a three-year renewable nonimmigrant visa allowing them to work and travel abroad. The proposal contains no direct path to citizenship, but recipients could make use of existing paths to obtaining green cards.
  • Family-based green card sponsorships would be limited to spouses and minor children of US permanent residents and US citizens;
  • Eliminate the Diversity Visa lottery program;
  • Increase the number of employment-based immigrant visas available;
  • Revise employment eligibility verification provisions to modify the current I-9 verification system;
  • Revise provisions for immigration enforcement, including practices for immigration enforcement and patrol of the Southern border.

In contrast to the Goodlatte proposal, the bill proposed by Rep. Roybal-Allard, H.R. 3440 – Dream Act of 2017, addresses a single subject by providing an eight-year conditional permanent resident status to DACA beneficiaries with requirements for education, medical examination, and good moral character. DREAMers would be eligible to apply for full permanent residence with requirements for education, employment, and eligibility for US citizenship.

The proposal by Rep. Hurd, H.R. 4796—Uniting and Securing American ("USA") Act of 2018—seeks a middle ground between these proposals by incorporating the permanent residence proposal introduced by Rep. Roybal-Allard, while also incorporating enforcement-related and border-security proposals in line with those favored by the White House Framework and the Goodlatte proposal. 

Should the House effort produce an approved bill, the Senate could take up the bill or pass its own measure.  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) previously proposed a Senate companion bill to Rep. Hurd's USA Act, which Sen. McCain introduced with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) in February 2018 but failed to receive enough votes to pass. Other bills proposed in the Senate include a compromise proposal by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), as well as a competing proposal by Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

A veto threat from the president, of course, could bring Senate action to a grinding halt, and the November midterm elections will play a role as well. June and July will be interesting months for those following this important issue.


1 "DREAMers" references the proposed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors ("DREAM") Act, which was first proposed in 2001 and sought to provide legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

2 DACA protections benefit individuals who:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the DACA request;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Visit us at mayerbrown.com

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2018. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions