Democrats Want Protection For DREAMers Included In Government Funding Bill

Guest column: Why a fix for DACA is imperative

Key GOP senator: Immigration talks are 'at an impasse'

While Democrats are relatively united in their desire for a legislative fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields illegal immigrants brought to the country as minors from deportation, they are divided over whether to press the issue as a non-negotiable in the impending spending bill.

But activists and many Democrats are specific they want a path to citizenship, and they say they're exhausted of waiting.

Since the Trump Administration's announcement to rescind the program, I've gained faith in the bipartisan work Congress has done to pass a long-term fix like the Dream Act.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says there are about 690,000 active DACA recipients in the country.

Unless Congress enacts legislation, immigrants will begin losing their DACA protection en masse starting in March, and would have to leave the US.

Sutton said that since the program's inception, 440,000 DACA recipients have bought a vehicle, 96,000 have bought a home and the 40,000 have started small businesses.

Republicans must secure the vote of at least eight Democrats in order to overcome a filibuster and pass the bill.

"We are more than papers!" one sign read. Meanwhile, immigrant youth in Johnson City, Memphis, Nashville will hold vigils and rallies in their cities.

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Pennsylvania becomes the 14th state to form a coalition under the auspices of the New American Economy, a group of 500 Republican, Democratic, and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms to help create jobs.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both said in recent days that they don't consider it urgent legislation. He encouraged the community to put pressure on local government.

"There is no crisis", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told ABC News on Sunday.

Dreamers is the name used for those immigrants brought to the United States as children but who remain undocumented, or illegal.

Their lack of commitment stands in stark opposition to the five progressive senators who have vowed to oppose any spending legislation - even a short-term bill like the one now on the table - no protection for Dreamers is included.

Poliquin said that Congress has to "find a solution to address those well-meaning, law-abiding individuals now caught in DACA status" quickly as it also moves "to update our immigration policies which reduce incentives to break the law".

A national campaign urging congressional movement on "dreamers" will begin Wednesday, with an emphasis on highlighting the beneficial financial impact to each state. "Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do".

There are an estimated 212,000 DACA recipients in California, including "about 20,000 in Sacramento County and 50,000 in the region", said Dugan, whose chamber includes more than 1,600 members, many of whom employ "Dreamers". "If the senator from Texas will start with the DREAM act we can then engage in additional conversations, including border security", Durbin said on Monday.

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