House Dems pass bill allowing illegal aliens to work as congressional staffers in defiance of judge’s ruling

House Democrats have passed legislation that would authorize some illegal aliens to work as congressional staffers on Capitol Hill on the heels of a ruling from a federal judge that the DACA program was unlawful.

The bill for legislative funding “includes language to permit DACA recipients, Dreamers, to be able to work for Congress and other legislative branch agencies,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) on the floor of the chamber on Wednesday.

Current estimates put the number of so-called “Dreamers,” or young people who were brought illegally into the U.S. as children and are protected from deportation under then-President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, at around 800,000.

But earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that Obama’s act was illegal and ordered the Biden administration to stop accepting applications for the program.

“Last night, Congress passed the 21% increase we asked for back in June. This is an important step towards retaining staff, increasing Hill diversity & growing the practice of paid internships,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Thursday, along with screengrabs of a letter noting that she led 110 House members in pushing for the funding increase.

Ryan noted the passage of the legislation along with its provision to allow DACA recipients to work for Congress, in apparent defiance of the federal judge’s order.

“I am proud that this legislation includes a $134 million increase for Members to hire and retain the staff needed to serve our constituents,” he noted in a statement.

“I am also pleased that we are helping ensure our workforce reflects the diversity of our nation, including by increasing funding for paid internships and allowing DACA recipients to work in the halls of Congress,” he added.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled earlier this month that the DACA program was unconstitutionally implemented by Obama and all new applications for the program can not be approved.

Hanen found that when the Department of Homeland Security created DACA, officials violated the Administrative Procedure Act, adding that the department’s interpretation of statutes was “overly broad.”

“Congress has not granted the Executive Branch free rein to grant lawful presence outside the ambit of the statutory scheme,” Hanen wrote. “DACA would grant lawful presence and work authorization to over a million people for whom Congress had made no provision and has consistently refused to make such a provision.”

He added that states that sued to overturn the program effectively demonstrated “the hardship that the continued operation of DACA has inflicted on them.”

“Furthermore, the government has no legitimate interest in the continuation of an illegally implemented program,” he added.

The Democratic legislation passed on a vote of 215-207, but the evenly-divided Senate has yet to take up the measure.

In recent days, Democrats have increasingly called for the creation of a ‘pathway to citizenship’ for Dreamers and others in the country illegally to be included in a budget measure that they plan to pass through the reconciliation process in the Senate, sans GOP support.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), has floated the idea that Republicans could leave Washington, D.C., and deny Democrats a quorum if they attempt to pass the massive $3.5 trillion bill using the reconciliation process, which requires only a simple majority.

That may not be necessary, however. Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has signaled she does not support the $3.5 trillion package under the reconciliation process, which angered left-wing extremists in the House.


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Jon Dougherty


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