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March 18, 2021

Rep. Kirkpatrick Introduces the American Dream Employment Act of 2021

Would Allow DACA, TPS, & DED Beneficiaries to work in Congress 

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Kirkpatrick introduced the American Dream Employment Act of 2021. Under current law, paid employment in the House and Senate is limited to individuals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents in the process of naturalizing. As a result, DREAMers — undocumented people brought to this country as young children — are currently barred from working for Congressional offices. The American Dream Employment Act of 2021 also establishes permanent employment eligibility in the House and Senate for TPS and DED recipients. 

Rep. Kirkpatrick is proud to be joined by 50 of her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives who signed on to be original co-sponsors of the American Dream Employment Act of 2021: 

U.S. Representatives Barragan, Bass, Beyer, Bonamici, Carbajal, Cardenas, Carson, Cicilline, Clark, Cooper, Davis, DeGette, Espaillat, Gallego, Garcia, Grijalva, Hastings, Huffman, Jayapal, Jones, Kind, Lee, Levin, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McGovern, McNerney, Meeks, Meng, Moulton, Napolitano, Norton, Omar, Panetta, Pressley, Price, Raskin, Schakowsky, Smith, Stanton, Suozzi, Thompson, Titus, Tlaib, Vargas, Vela, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman, and Welch.

The American Dream Employment Act of 2021 has also been endorsed by United We Dream, Unidos, and Immigration Hub.

“In Arizona and across the country, these individuals are vital members of our communities and make valuable contributions to our nation. They deserve an equal shot of being employed in Congress,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “We have been saying for a while now that we urgently need to fix our immigration system. This change in policy is one step in a series of steps we must take. DREAMers are Americans and they should be able to have a voice in the legislative process, which impacts their lives and communities. I am proud to re-introduce this bill in the 117th Congress.”

“We applaud the re-introduction of the American Dream Employment Act,” said Carlos Guevara of UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. “Dreamers are integral members of our workplace and communities who deserve to live to their full potential and contribute to the well-being of our country. This bill ensures that Dreamers looking to serve the public in Congress have the ability to do so and ensures our nation’s leaders are able to leverage their many talents and contributions to the country.”

“DACA recipients and TPS holders have lived in the US for most of their lives; they are our families, friends and community members,” said Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, State and Local Policy Manager at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country. “They deserve the opportunity to serve their communities and government and get paid for their work. United We Dream is proud to endorse the American Dream Employment Act of 2021 to ensure immigrant youth and TPS holders have the opportunity to be paid for their work in Congress.”

For the text of the bill, click here.

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