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senate Bill S. 1095

Should 'Dreamers' be Allowed to Work as Congressional Staffers & Interns?

Argument in favor

Dreamers have worked on the Hill as fellows funded by third parties and unpaid volunteers for years. It’s time to give them equal status with U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in the process of applying for citizenship and allow them to be paid directly by congressional offices.

jimK's Opinion
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09/09/2019
Why not? They would have to pass security and background checks. Foreign Nationals are currently permitted access to select classified information employed in situations that require it. Why should this be treated differently? Besides I love the idea of demonstrating that not all of our Country is part of trump’s war on immigrants; and that the Dreamer’s who have lived their commitment to this Country are not going to segregated against.
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Kathi13's Opinion
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09/08/2019
DREAMERS should be allowed to do anything they are qualified to do.
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WeaverWitch's Opinion
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09/08/2019
Dreamers have lived here most of their lives. They are as a group as trustworthy as any other. It makes no sense to exclude them from paid internships
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Argument opposed

Given the sensitive nature of the work many members of Congress and their offices are involved in, it makes sense to require their staffers and interns to be U.S. citizens. Dreamers’ exclusion from paid staff and internship positions in congressional offices makes sense in this context.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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09/08/2019
No Way Under The Sun...... Americans Citizens Should Be Preferred First Given the sensitive nature of the work many members of Congress and their offices are involved in, it makes sense to require their staffers and interns to be U.S. citizens. Dreamers’ exclusion from paid staff and internship positions in congressional offices makes sense in this context. Yes they should be paid, but not as non-citizens, in Governmental offices. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 9.8.19.....
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Robyn's Opinion
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09/08/2019
I think they should work on becoming U.S. citizens BEFORE they go to work in Congressional Offices.
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Mike's Opinion
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09/08/2019
Absolutely no one should be allowed to work in, on, or for the government unless they are a citizen of the US. Zero exceptions !!
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What is Senate Bill S. 1095?

This bill — the American Dream Employment Act of 2019 — would allow DACA recipients (known as "Dreamers") to work and secure paid internships in congressional offices. Currently, paid employment in the House and Senate is limited to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have begun the naturalization process. Additionally, in certain circumstances, refugees and asylees can also be eligible for Congressional employment. This means that Dreamers are currently excluded from job opportunities in congressional offices. 

Impact

Dreamers; Congressional employment and internships for Dreamers; and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1095

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced this bill to lift the ban on Dreamers working or securing paid internships in Congressional offices

“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. 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. 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.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) adds

“Congress prides itself on recruiting the best talent to craft policies that address America’s greatest challenges. Yet, we’ve created obstacles that keep some of our brightest young minds from fully contributing to our country. The American Dream Employment Act would expand Congress’ talent pool, give Dreamers a seat at the table, and strengthen policymaking for all Americans.”

House sponsor Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) says

“DREAMers are young people who call our country home, and they deserve a fair shot at opportunities that can shape their future. Telling these young people they cannot work in the seat of our government is like telling them they deserve something less than the American dream. That's the wrong message to send -- especially from an institution like Congress that could really benefit from their unique abilities and perspectives."

United We Dream supports this bill. Its Deputy Executive Director of United We Dream, Greisa Martinez Rosas, who is a DACA recipient herself, says

"With programs like DACA, TPS, and DED, undocumented immigrant youth had the chance to live and thrive without the fear of deportation, but there were still barred from paid employment on Capitol Hill. The American Dream Employment Act is an important solution to this barrier, and this bill and similar proactive policies would open the door for immigrant youth to access opportunities within the halls of Congress. We hope to see congressional champions continue to address the structural educational and workforce barriers faced by undocumented people across the country. We also encourage congressional champions to dream big! Our communities need more solutions which reject sending more money to the deportation force and instead deliver citizenship, family unity, and dignity for all.”

Robin Hvidston, head of We the People Rising, an anti-illegal immigration group, opposes this bill. She argues that the internships received by Dreamers would be opportunities taken away from American citizen students. Hvidston asks: 

“How is this legislation fair to U.S. citizen students? Why does Senator Kamala Harris not have a sign outside of her door that welcomes American Citizen Dreamers? There are U.S. students all across the nation who are eager for  internships and other employment in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, but Senator Kamala Harris’ so called ‘American Dream Employment Act’ could potentially take the ‘American Dream from an American citizen student – a student who could be replaced by a DACA recipient under this proposed legislation.”

This legislation has 22 Senate cosponsors, including 21 Democrats and one Independent. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), has 86 bipartisan cosponsors, including 85 Democrats and one Republican.

This bill is supported by United We Dream, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, FWD.us, the Immigration Hub, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the National Immigration Law Center, and Unidos.


Of Note: Dreamers have worked on the Hill for years but their work is typically funded by fellowships by third parties or in an unpaid, voluntary position.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / narvikk)

AKA

American Dream Employment Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to enable the payment of certain officers and employees of the United States whose employment is authorized under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedApril 9th, 2019
    Why not? They would have to pass security and background checks. Foreign Nationals are currently permitted access to select classified information employed in situations that require it. Why should this be treated differently? Besides I love the idea of demonstrating that not all of our Country is part of trump’s war on immigrants; and that the Dreamer’s who have lived their commitment to this Country are not going to segregated against.
    Like (77)
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    No Way Under The Sun...... Americans Citizens Should Be Preferred First Given the sensitive nature of the work many members of Congress and their offices are involved in, it makes sense to require their staffers and interns to be U.S. citizens. Dreamers’ exclusion from paid staff and internship positions in congressional offices makes sense in this context. Yes they should be paid, but not as non-citizens, in Governmental offices. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 9.8.19.....
    Like (79)
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    I think they should work on becoming U.S. citizens BEFORE they go to work in Congressional Offices.
    Like (52)
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    DREAMERS should be allowed to do anything they are qualified to do.
    Like (47)
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    Absolutely no one should be allowed to work in, on, or for the government unless they are a citizen of the US. Zero exceptions !!
    Like (42)
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    No Citizens only need apply!!!!!!
    Like (39)
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    Dreamers have lived here most of their lives. They are as a group as trustworthy as any other. It makes no sense to exclude them from paid internships
    Like (33)
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    No way in hell! #MAGA
    Like (31)
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    The argument that only U.S. citizens can be trusted to work in Congress and the White House is not based on any supportable evidence. Being a U.S. citizen doesn't guarantee anything. Many Dreamers have been here for years and should not be punished for a decision that they had no part in. Further we have the same stupid argument from Republicans/Conservatives who complain on the one hand about having to support Dreamers and immigrants yet on the other hand block them from being employed. What is worse is that they have no idea how irrational that is.
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    Why not? They are as American as anyone else in this country.
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    No as they are not citizens and have no legal rights to even be in the US
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    Not only that but they should also be given a clear path to citizenship!
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    Seriously. What a STUPID IDEA. How about picking your TRUE CONSTITUENTS first???? How disgusting the Democrats have become. But of course Kamala Harris doesn’t care about HER CONSTITUENTS. So tell us Kamala, what does your constituents think of you? Choosing illegal immigrants over American citizens is atrocious You should be ashamed of yourself. I am.
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    Dreamers have lived here most of their lives. They are as a group as trustworthy as any other. It makes no sense to exclude them from paid internships
    Like (20)
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    Don’t they already work there? I’m sure they do actually. What your really asking is should they get paid and the answer is YES.
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    Congress needs to address the issue of citizenship for the Dreamers prior to granting other entitlements.
    Like (18)
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    Why not? Moscow Mitch could use one😁
    Like (17)
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    Given the sensitive nature of the work many members of Congress and their offices are involved in, it makes sense to require their staffers and interns to be U.S. citizens. Dreamers’ exclusion from paid staff and internship positions in congressional offices makes sense in this context.
    Like (17)
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    Absolutely! We have to recognize that our diversity IS our strength
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    They'd probably be more loyal and responsible that a lot of our native-born ladder climbers.
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