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New Democrat Coalition calls for immediate action to protect pathway to citizenship for Dreamers

Dreamers protest outside the Capitol on Sunday, January 21, 2018 during the partial government shutdown over funding for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Greg Nash
Dreamers protest outside the Capitol on Sunday, January 21, 2018 during the partial government shutdown over funding for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Members of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) called for Congress to pass legislation protecting Dreamers before the end of the lame-duck session at the end of this month, describing the immigration reform as an “urgent action” for legislators.

NDC Chair Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) released a statement on Wednesday along with immigration task force chairs Salud Carbajal (Calif.) and Greg Stanton (Ariz.), pushing to carve out a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers by the end of the year.

“The stakes are too high for inaction,” the lawmakers wrote. “As their fate hangs in the balance, we are committed to working with our colleagues in the House and Senate to pass bipartisan legislation before the end of the year that gives Dreamers the stability and security they’ve been waiting for and that they deserve.”

A bipartisan deal to protect Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, is reportedly being hashed out in the Senate.

Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have reportedly reached an agreement to provide a pathway to citizenship for 2 million Dreamers along with other related provisions to appeal to the GOP base, including enhanced border security.

Immigration advocates have renewed hopes for a citizenship pathway for Dreamers since October, when an appeals court ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unlawful.

Former President Obama created the DACA program in 2012 to protect Dreamers from deportation. Dreamers are eligible under the program for two years at a time but can renew their status.

While the appeals court ruled the program was unlawful and the Biden administration can no longer accept new applicants, current members of the program can renew protections.

–Updated on Dec. 8 at 7:56 a.m.

Tags Barack Obama DACA Dreamers Greg Stanton immigration Krysten Sinema New Democrat Coaltion Obama Salud Carbajal Suzan DelBene Suzan DelBene thom tillis Thom Tillis

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