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 HarrisThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Bloomberg campaign lobbied Yang for endorsement, possible VP offer: report Biden looks to shore up lead in SC MORE (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoProgressives hope Nevada offers roadmap for pro-union 2020 victory Kennedy, Markey spar over experience in first Senate primary debate DSCC endorses McGrath in race against McConnell MORE (D-N.M.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats introduce bill to reverse Trump's shift of military money toward wall Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development 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 KirkpatrickEleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Arizona Democrat to get treatment for alcohol dependence after suffering fall House holds moment of silence to mark anniversary of 2011 Tucson shooting 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 TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary 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.