WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – In March, DACA permits will begin to expire and the now pressure is mounting for Congress to take action.
Before the end of the year, hundreds of students took part in protest in the nation’s capital.
Hundreds of young people flooded the streets of Washington and filled the halls of a Senate Office Building demanding action on the dream act.
Lawmakers from both parties talked about the need to protect immigrants who were brought into the country as kids — known as dreamers.
Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto highlighted service members in light of Veterans Day.
“For nearly 900 undocumented service members it is also a reminder that their commander in chief does not honor their service. Instead, he’s told them they’re not wanted and their service is not recognized,” Sen. Masto (D) said.
A group of Republican lawmakers said inaction isn’t an option.
“This is an issue we have to resolve, we’re talking about human beings we’re talking about innocent people who through no fault of their own, through no decision of their own, are here in a very precarious position,” Congressman Peter King (R-NY 2) said.
Some Democrats like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are promising drastic action if there’s no action on the DREAM Act. They’re threatening to vote to shut down the federal government.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi isn’t sure that’s the answer.
“I have to see what the spending bill is. I fully intend that we will not leave here without the DREAM Act passing, with a DACA fix,” Pelosi said.
“You know it’s always tough at the end of the year, but it’s also a good time to strike too,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said.
Sen. Hatch is a cosponsor of the Republican Succeed Act that also proposes a solution for dreamers.
As an original co-sponsor of the DREAM Act in 2001, he says he could support this year’s version of the bill.
“I think it needs to be modified somewhat and those modifications are coming to pass right now. I think look, it’s not these kids fault and they don’t even know the country of origin.”
Both sides are hopeful a bill to protect DACA recipients will be approved by the end of the year.