Congressional Democrats and immigrant advocates are eyeing a DACA fix before Republicans are expected to take control of the lower chamber next year, reports Politico.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program offers young migrants brought to the U.S. as children work permits and protection from deportation. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month ruled that DACA was illegal but directed a lower court to consider a new Biden administration rule that would allow the program to continue for existing recipients, not new applicants.
Democrats retained the majority in the Senate but will likely lose the House to Republicans.
To pass DACA legislation, Democrats will need support from at least 10 Senate Republicans.
"The election is over," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol.
"Now let's do the right thing. Now let's roll up our sleeves and get this done. American sent a clear message [in the midterms]. They rejected the deeply anti-immigrant message of the MAGA Republicans."
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who co-sponsored the DREAM Act in 2001, during the press gaggle pushed the importance of the legislation that would solidify protections for "Dreamers," and said there were ongoing conversations with Republicans, including "four or five" who he said would support the effort. The 2001 legislation conferred similar benefits to immigrants.
"We've got an opportunity," Durbin said. "That opportunity is the month of December."
More than 300 DACA recipients, immigration advocates and Dreamers traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to rally support for a DACA bill, according to Politico.
"We are in another moment of choice," Greisa Martinez, executive director of the advocacy group United We Dream, said at the news conference. "We can choose to act and deliver much-needed protection for millions of people, or we can choose to give in to the most cynical of our thoughts, those thoughts that tell us that we can't, that we won't, that it's too hard, not this year."
House Democratic leaders on Tuesday announced it would focus on a DACA bill — the Dream and Promise Act — that was passed by the House last year.
"DACA's on life support," Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., told the Hill. "We need to act with a sense of urgency."
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