Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform
President Biden on Friday met with six recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as he renewed a push for action immigration reform.
The White House said that the participants, whose names were not released, work in the fields of health care, education and agriculture and that the meeting focused on their experiences working on the front lines during the pandemic.
“President Biden reiterated his support for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential immigrant workers,” the White House said in a readout. “The President and the Dreamers also discussed the continued need for immigration reform and the White House’s strong support for the Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, two bills that have already passed the House with bipartisan support and are awaiting action in the Senate.”
Biden tweeted Friday evening that it is “long past time Congress pass the U.S. Citizenship Act,” the name for his immigration proposal.
The meeting, which was not open to the press, represents an effort by Biden to demonstrate that immigration reform is a priority, even as he is primarily focused on negotiating with lawmakers on his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden held two meetings with lawmakers this week, both of which included Republicans, in pursuit of a potential bipartisan agreement on infrastructure.
Biden has signed a raft of executive actions aimed at rolling back the immigration policies of his predecessor, former President Trump, including a proclamation issued Friday that reversed a 2019 rule preventing immigrants who do not have health coverage or cannot afford it from obtaining visas.
In his first days in office, Biden signed an executive order preserving the DACA program.
While Biden unveiled an immigration reform proposal on his first day in office, there has been minimal movement on a bill on Capitol Hill thus far and Democrats and Republicans remain divided on how to handle the issue.
Biden has also been targeted with criticism from both the right and left over his handling of the flow of migrants at the southern border with Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers this week that the administration has made progress in reducing the number of unaccompanied migrant children held in Customs and Border Protection custody and sending them to Health and Human Services facilities.