Democratic lawmakers expressed urgency Wednesday in getting Republicans on board to pass a permanent solution for the “Dreamers”—those undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors. They say not acting before Congress changes hands in January could lead to deportation for thousands now protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
The decision was announced by House Democratic leaders during a closed-door meeting Tuesday in the Capitol.
“DACA’s on life support,” said Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “We need to act with a sense of urgency.”
It’s unclear how Democratic leaders would move the proposal through the House. They could bring it to the floor as a stand-alone bill, as they did successfully in March 2021. But with time running short in the lame duck session, they may decide to attach it to a larger piece of necessary legislation, such as the massive government spending bill Congress must pass by December 16th to avoid a government shutdown.
Inclusion in a must-pass bill could determine the its chances in the Senate, as well, because it’s unlikely to get support from 10 Republican Senators as a stand-alone.