March 07, 2023

Cortez Masto, Durbin Revive Push To Boost Diversity & Allow Dreamers to Work in Congress

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) revived their push to increase diversity in government by reintroducing their legislation to allow Dreamers to work in Congress. The American Dream Employment Act lifts the current ban on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients from working or participating in paid internships in Congress.

“Our government should be as diverse as the people we represent, and that includes the Dreamers and TPS holders who are part of our communities and who are working legally in Nevada and across the country,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “My legislation will give them a voice in our government by allowing them to directly shape the laws that impact them and their families.”

“I have met hundreds of Dreamers who are giving back to their communities as teachers, nurses, engineers, civil rights advocates, and more,” said Senator Durbin. “Many Dreamers and TPS recipients are dedicated to public service, and it makes no sense to deprive Congress of this talent pool. The American Dream Employment Act, which I’m introducing with Senator Cortez Masto, would finally let Dreamers and TPS recipients work as paid employees or interns on Capitol Hill. Over the years, several Dreamers have worked in my office as volunteer interns, and Illinois would greatly benefit if they were given the chance to work as paid employees.”

The bill is supported by United We Dream, UnidosUS,, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), Immigration Hub, Nevada Immigrant Coalition, TPS Committee of Nevada, and Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center.

“The Dreamers Congressional Staff Association (DCSA) is an official, non-partisan, bicameral staff organization dedicated to connecting, empowering and advancing former and current Dreamers on Capitol Hill. We are happy to see Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Durbin reintroduce the American Dream Employment Act which would allow DACA and TPS recipients, many of whom are our members, to work in paid opportunities on the Hill,” said a spokesperson for the Dreamers Congressional Staff Association. “Not only is this bill necessary to diversify our federal workforce, but it would greatly expand Dreamers’ public service opportunities in Congress.”  

“DACA and TPS recipients, like other Americans, should have the opportunity to work in Congress,” said the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association (CHSA) Board of Directors. “Allowing for them to seek a career in the halls of Congress ensures a diverse congressional workforce that mirrors the diversity of our country. We applaud both Senators Cortez Masto and Durbin for championing this effort in the Senate.”

The first and only Latina Senator, Senator Cortez Masto has consistently worked to pass meaningful immigration reform that balances critical border security measures with a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers. She has pushed to increase diversity in government and the private sector.

Senator Cortez Masto has introduced landmark legislation to update our immigration system and has urged DHS officials to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling protecting Dreamers. Cortez Masto has consistently worked to protect Dreamers, pushing back strongly against Trump administration efforts to terminate the program.