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 HarrisKamala Harris endorses Christy Smith in bid to fill Katie Hill's seat Poll: Biden holds 11-point lead over Warren in Arizona Poll: Biden and Warren are neck and neck in California MORE (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoHouse and Senate Dems implore McConnell to sign DACA legislation to protect 'Dreamers' Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid Former state senator gets DSCC endorsement in North Carolina Senate race MORE (D-N.M.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators voice support for Iran protesters but stop short of taking action GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement 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 KirkpatrickSwing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage McSally gets new primary challenger Two Democrats vow to press forward on Trump impeachment 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 TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' 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.