IM­MI­GRA­TION

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Obituaries -

Democrats will have a ma­jor­ity in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2019 for the first time in a decade. And while leg­isla­tive grid­lock is likely to re­main the rule in Wash­ing­ton, the shift in the bal­ance of power will still af­fect Cal­i­for­ni­ans and is­sues they care about, from im­mi­gra­tion to health­care to traf­fic jams.

Here is a look at some of the ways House Democrats can shape poli­cies that mat­ter most to the state: Bridges, wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture and pub­lic tran­sit sys­tems are also in des­per­ate need of new in­vest­ment. Im­prove­ments could help re­duce the chok­ing con­ges­tion many Cal­i­for­nia driv­ers face.

Repub­li­cans in the House balked at the price tag for a fed­eral in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing pack­age. But with Democrats at the helm, their op­po­si­tion will be less of an is­sue. The pres­i­dent said Tues­day he was open to com­pro­mise on an in­fra­struc­ture plan.

Pelosi promised vig­or­ous over­sight of some of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s most con­tro­ver­sial im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies at her press con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton Wed­nes­day. “We are ashamed as a na­tion by a pol­icy that takes ba­bies out of the arms of their mothers, that builds tents and all the rest to house peo­ple un­der the sep­a­ra­tion of fam­i­lies,” she said. “We want to look into that.”

Im­mi­grant ad­vo­cates are also hop­ing Con­gress can reach a deal with the pres­i­dent to pro­tect un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants that were brought to the coun­try as chil­dren, known as Dreamers. Cal­i­for­nia is home to the most Dreamers of any state in the coun­try.

But while Trump has said he wants to find a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to let these young im­mi­grants stay in the coun­try, his ad­min­is­tra­tion has sought to up­end a pro­gram to pro­tect Dreamers en­acted by Pres­i­dent Obama, called De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals or DACA. Most re­cently, the Jus­tice De­part­ment asked the Supreme Court to in­ter­vene in the le­gal fight to end that Obama-era pro­gram. That pos­ture doesn’t bode well for a com­pro­mise be­tween the pres­i­dent and Democrats on DACA.

House Democrats, how­ever, also have lever­age with Trump: they will have the power to block fund­ing for his pro­posed wall along the south­ern bor­der with Mex­ico. Asked about the prospects for im­mi­gra­tion re­form on Wed­nes­day, Pelosi said only, “we have find com­mon ground, we have to try to find a path.”

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