Kamala Harris and Catherine Cortez Masto Want “Dreamers” to Work in Congress
Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) want to make sure the DACA recipients are welcome to work in the halls of Congress. The pair is teaming up with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to introduce a bill to make “Dreamers” eligible for employment or an internship by an office of a member of the Congress. Currently, DACA recipients cannot work for members because their status is granted by executive order, not a law. To be employed by a congressional office in a paid position, an individual must be a U.S. citizen; be lawfully admitted for permanent residence and seeking citizenship; be admitted as a refugee or granted asylum and have filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or “owe allegiance to the U.S. (i.e., qualify as a non-citizen U.S. national under federal law).” This legislation would likely grant “Dreamers” authorization to work for Congress under this last option. “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,” Harris said in a statement. “Government works best when it reflects the people it represents.” Harris’ home state has the most DACA recipients in the country. This new bill comes as the 2020 contender looks to make inroads with the Latinx community on the presidential campaign trail. She has made stops in Texas and Nevada in recent weeks, and Harris’ campaign is distributing headsets at rallies to translate her speeches into Spanish. This legislation is likely to complement a bill we told you about in January -- Representatives Juan Vargas (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Norma Torres (D-CA) introduced the DREAMer House Employment Act in the lower chamber. More here.