House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and other Democratic leaders spoke Tuesday about the DREAM Act, a bill being pushed by Democrats and some Republicans as a legislative solution for the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that President Donald Trump would let the Obama-era program known as DACA expire in March, giving Congress six months to come up with a way to handle the 800,000 so-called “dreamers” who were brought by their parents to the United States illegally as children.
DACA offered two-year renewable work permits and temporary relief from deportation to “dreamers” who were 31 or younger as of June 15, 2012, and also met several other conditions. Several versions of the DREAM Act have been pushed in Congress since Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, first helped introduce it 16 years ago. It’s never passed both Chambers of Congress at the same time. The latest version, unlike DACA, would offer permanent legal status to those who qualified.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he wants to pass a “clean version” of the DREAM Act, unattached to other pieces of important legislation — including tax reform and the debt ceiling — that will make their way through Congress this fall. But some Republicans have said they won’t support that approach. In a joint news conference about the DREAM Act with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, earlier this month, Durbin said he hoped to have a vote on the legislation by the end of September. Leaders at Tuesday’s press conference echoed that timeline.
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.