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 HarrisJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP Biden should name a 'team of colleagues' MORE (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoThe Hill's Campaign Report: Minneapolis protests rock the nation Cortez Masto says she's not interested in being Biden VP The Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice MORE (D-N.M.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight 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 KirkpatrickHouse Democrats jam GOP with coronavirus bill Eleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Arizona Democrat to get treatment for alcohol dependence after suffering fall 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 TrumpFauci says his meetings with Trump have 'dramatically decreased' McEnany criticizes DC mayor for not imposing earlier curfew amid protests Stopping Israel's annexation is a US national security interest 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.