February 05, 2021
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reintroduced the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children.
The Act, which according to Graham and Durbin is identical to the 2019 version, would provide relief for the nearly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients and an additional estimated 1.4 million eligible individuals. It would create a conditional permanent resident status for eight years that would allow Dreamers to work in the U.S., travel internationally, and protect them from deportation.
HR Policy and other business groups have been meeting with key legislators and staff supporting a legislative solution. The Coalition for the American Dream, of which HR Policy is a member, released a statement supporting the legislation.
Whether the bill is paired with separate immigration legislation—and what such a package would entail—will have a large impact on its success in Congress. It is expected that, in order to gather support of a sufficient numbers of Senate Republicans, the legislation will be paired with border security provisions. Graham said the bill “is a good place to start the discussion and build out a compromise that will be beneficial to the dreamer population and not incentivize a third wave of illegal immigration.”
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Texas is considering arguments in a case questioning DACA’s legality. If Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and several other state attorneys general are successful, and if Congress fails to pass legislation enshrining DACA into law, the program could be dismantled over the next two years.