Presidential hopeful and Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris is set to introduce legislation later in the week that would allow individuals who were brought into the country illegally as children the ability to work in the United States Congress.
The proposal, co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, would amend the current law so that illegal immigrants who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be included as an eligible category for paid employment in Congress.
“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. “But right now, those same young people are banned from giving back to their country by working for Congress. That has to change.”
“Government works best when it reflects the people it represents,” the statement continued. “Our nation’s DREAMers are some of our best and brightest, and it’s time they had the opportunity to get a job or paid internship on Capitol Hill.”
Under the current law, the majority of non-U.S. citizens, which includes Dreamers and DACA recipients, are barred from working for the federal government, according to Roll Call. However, there are some congressional staffers with legal U.S. residency — these individuals are required to submit a sworn affidavit that they are in the process of obtaining full citizenship.
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