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Dream Act Likely To Pick Up Far More Co-Sponsors In Coming Days

Originally published by The Huffington Post

The Dream Act, meant to provide legal status to young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, is about to get significantly more official support in Congress.

 

The House members leading on the bill agreed this week to lift a previous informal restriction that allowed others to sign on as co-sponsors only in pairs ― one Republican and one Democrat. Now, anyone who wants to sign on will be able to do so.

Democrats are pushing for the Dream Act to get a vote this month after PresidentDonald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided work permits and deportation protections to nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. DACA recipients won’t begin to lose their work permits until six months from now, and Trump has said he wants Congress to act before then on a bill that addresses them.

 

The Dream Act is the preferred legislation for Democrats, and they want to show the strong support through a high number of co-sponsors. Democratic aides confirmed that lawmakers had chosen to begin accepting any co-sponsors without pairings.

“You’re going to see a surge of Democrats going to the bill, and I think that does put additional pressure on Republicans,” a Democratic congressional aide said.

 

The previous plan was to keep the number of Republicans and Democrats on the bill even ― which has also kept the number of co-sponsors artificially low, since there are many Democrats who would sign on if they could find a partner.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the co-sponsors listed on the Dream Act in the House are Democratic Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Zoe Lofgren of California, and Republicans Mike Coffman of Colorado and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) predicted at a news conference on Wednesday that Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) would try to get support from “100 percent of the House Democrats.”

 

The Democratic aide said that they didn’t fear backlash to the bill seeming too partisan, “given where polling is, the public is, the general reaction to what the president did.”

 

Trump has faced widespread criticism for his decision to end DACA, and polling shows strong support for protecting young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The president insisted Wednesday that he would like to make a deal with Congress ― including Democratic leaders ― on legislation to address Dreamers.

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dream-act-house-sponsors_us_59b07519e4b0b5e531037e8c?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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