Soto’s Legislative Effort Allowing DREAMers Employment in Federal Government Passes House

June 26, 2019
Press Release
Measure was included in HR 3351 Funding Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Darren Soto’s request to allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, also known as “DREAMers,”to be employed in the United States Federal Government. Rep. Soto wrote a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations requesting this inclusion. The DACA program already grants Employment Authorization Cards (work permits) for its recipients. Yet under current law, only U.S. citizens can work for the federal government, with limited exceptions.

“Our office has been honored to host several talented DREAMers as interns. These young people were bright, hardworking, and offered our office a diverse perspective that was invaluable to better represent our community,” stated Rep. Soto. “It is unfair that our office, or any other federal agency already hosting DACA recipients as interns, are unable under law to pay them for their impressive work or eventually offer employment. We recognized this injustice and requested the appropriations bill include language to open the door for DREAMers who wish to continue serving our country.”

The measure was included in House-passed H.R. 3351, an Appropriations Bill for FY2020 that funds financial service and general government agencies (Section 704, pages 126-127).

Over 800,000 DACA recipients would be eligible to work in the Federal Government once this legislation is enacted into law. In Florida alone, DACA has allowed more than 27,000 eligible young people to live, work legally in the United States, and pay over $77.5 million in state and local taxes annually.