House Democrats vote to let some illegal immigrants work as congressional staffers

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House Democrats passed a massive legislative budget this week that allows for members of Congress to hire illegal immigrants to work for them on Capitol Hill.

The legislative funding bill “includes language to permit DACA recipients, Dreamers, to be able to work for Congress and  other legislative branch agencies,” Democratic Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan noted on the House floor Wednesday. 

In the U.S., there are an estimated 800,000 “Dreamers” – children brought to the U.S. illegally who were protected from deportation under an Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

A federal judge earlier this month ruled that DACA was illegal and ordered the Biden administration to cease accepting applications for the program.   

Ryan heralded the bill’s passage and the move to allow DACA recipients to work for Congress.

“I am proud that this legislation includes a $134 million increase for Members to hire and retain the staff needed to serve our constituents,” Ryan said in a statement. “I am also pleased that we are helping ensure our workforce reflects the diversity of our nation, including by increasing funding for paid internships and allowing DACA recipients to work in the halls of Congress.”

The bill passed by a margin of 215-207 and has yet to be voted on by the Senate.

Earlier this month, a federal judge deemed the DACA program unconstitutional and ordered the Biden administration to stop all applicants. 

Over the past few days, Democrats, including President Biden, have called for a pathway to citizenship to be included in the budget package which Democrats plan to pass with or without Republican support.

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