Democrats introduce bill to let 'Dreamers' work for Congress

Senate Democrats are introducing legislation that would make so-called Dreamers eligible to work on Capitol Hill.

The bill — spearheaded by Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSan Francisco police chief apologizes for raid on journalist's home Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Schumer, author discussed possible Kansas Senate run: report Life in the minority at the FCC MORE (D-N.M.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Senate Democrats request watchdog, Red Cross probe DHS detention facilities MORE (D-Ill.) — would expand the eligibility for a job as a congressional staffer or intern to include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, who came into the country illegally as children.

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“The giant sign outside my office says ‘DREAMers Welcome Here’ because we know and value the contributions that these young people have made to their communities. But right now, those same young people are banned from giving back to their country by working for Congress. That has to change,” Harris, who is running for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said in a statement.

Durbin added that he has had Dreamers volunteer in his office and he had “seen firsthand how the people of Illinois would benefit if Dreamers could serve as paid employees in my office.”

“Many of them are dedicated to public service, and it makes no sense to deprive Congress of this homegrown talent pool,” he added.

The bill, according to a statement from Harris’s office, would apply to employment in both the House and Senate. Rep. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickArizona Dems ask DHS to appoint 'crisis coordinator' at border Democrats introduce bill to let 'Dreamers' work for Congress Push for ‘Medicare for all’ worries centrist Dems MORE (D-Ariz.), has introduced the legislation in the House.

The proposal is supported by a myriad of immigration groups, including United We Dream, the National Immigration Law Center and Unidos.

But any immigration bill likely faces an uphill battle in Congress, where the issue has emerged as a lightning rod during President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's administration.

Trump made hard-line immigration rhetoric a key part of his presidential campaign and Republicans on Capitol Hill have been wary of breaking with him.

The Senate previously voted down three immigration bills after the White House came out hard against a compromise proposal spearheaded by a coalition of moderate lawmakers.