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Kirkpatrick Introduces Bill to Get “Dreamers” into Congress

Kirkpatrick Introduces Bill to Get “Dreamers” into Congress
March 24
10:50 2016
Ann Kirkpatrick

Rep. Kirkpatrick

Congressional employment in Washington could be in the future for Dreamers, should The American Dream Employment Act presented by Ann Kirkpatrick, become law. The 1st District US Congresswoman’s idea would allow the young un-documented residents to be able to seek congressional employment.

Current law prevents the House and Senate from employing anyone who is not either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident currently seeking naturalization, with the exception of certain refugees and those granted asylum. As it stands such “Dreamers” cannot legally work for any branch of the federal government.

Kirkpatrick thinks that’s wrong.

“Dreamers are young people who call our country home, and they deserve a fair shot at opportunities that can shape their future,” said the Congresswoman. “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.”

Kirkpatrick’s colleague from Arizona, U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, is one of the original co-sponsors of the bill.

“Dreamers have grown up in the United States and call our country home. They are a part of our community, and rather than making their lives more difficult, we should celebrate their contributions and give them opportunities to succeed,” said Gallego.

Current employment guidelines are set by a provision included annually in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill. The American Dream Employment Act would amend this section by adding DACA beneficiaries to the list of individuals authorized to be paid employees of Congress.

Since its inception in 2012, DACA has allowed nearly 665,000 individuals to work in the United States without the threat of deportation. To qualify for DACA, applicants must have come to the United States before their 16th birthday and either be currently enrolled in school or have earned a high school diploma or GED. Those who have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military are also eligible for DACA benefits.

Any individual convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor is deemed ineligible for deferred action.

Kirkpatrick’s bill has 24 original co-sponsors.

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