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 HarrisBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law MORE (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoWestern US airports face jet fuel shortage Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan MORE (D-N.M.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators scramble to save infrastructure deal Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan 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 KirkpatrickDemocrats confront difficult prospects for midterms Surgeon who treated Gabby Giffords after shooting launches House bid in Arizona These House lawmakers aren't seeking reelection in 2022 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 TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race 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.