Supported by immigration activists, Democrats want to guarantee illegal immigrants amnesty before they lose the House of Representatives next year.
On Wednesday (November 16), during a press conference, activists and Democrats urged Congressional Republicans to work with their Democratic counterparts to pass legislation similar to the DREAM Act.
The legislation they’re proposing would give recipients — and those eligible of receiving — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program a path to citizenship.
Former President Barack Obama established the program in 2012 to protect DACA recipients from deportation; this legislation builds on that.
Obama’s program protected immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from deportation.
In 2021, the program was dealt a blow, when a judge upheld an earlier ruling that blocked further enrolment in the program as it was found to be illegal.
The 2021 ruling wouldn’t affect the 700,000 beneficiaries of the program, but it did spur activists and legislators to call for a more permanent solution.
The DREAM Act, which Democrats are pushing to pass during the lame-duck session of Congress, would give roughly two million illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
Speaking at the press conference, Rep. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) addressed his Republican counterparts when he explained that Democrats needed to pass the legislation in December before the new Congress is seated.
Durbin stated that while Democrats possibly had the support of four or five Republicans, they need “ten Republicans who will step up and join [Democrats] in this effort,” as that figure would help Dems overcome the filibuster.