Published on: July 30, 2021
Authors: Daniel W. Chasen
HR Policy CEO Tim Bartl, along with CEOs from member companies and key industry groups, called on Congress to pass legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants brought illegally into the U.S. as children. The letter comes on the heels of a ruling by a federal judge that found the DACA program unlawful.
“Dreamers… are employees who fill key roles at our companies,” the letter reads. “They pay federal, state, and local taxes; they work with us, start their own small businesses, teach our children in school, and serve in our military. About half of all Dreamers are essential workers who have been serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.”
The ruling vacating the program allowed existing DACA recipients to continue to renew their status—for now. Judge Hanen noted the reliance existing DACA recipients have on the program and the need to give a reasonable amount of time to the federal government to make “appropriate steps to remedy the shortfalls in DACA,” including placing the policy in notice-and-comment rulemaking.
Outlook: Some lawmakers are considering including a DACA provision in the upcoming reconciliation bill, a move that would require the approval of Senate Parliamentarian. However, that outcome is considered unlikely, since DACA does not have a direct relationship with government revenue or spending. Meanwhile, several standalone DACA bills have been introduced this year, but bipartisan talks have broken down, with disagreements over the scope of the legislation proving to be a barrier.