WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday hosted a group of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the White House.
The vice president said she and President Joe Biden will fight to protect DACA, which a federal judge ruled unconstitutional on Friday.
“My family has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, not in the shadows, but unprotected,” DACA applicant Diana Bautista, 18, told Harris, appearing via video call. “We keep getting let down, again and again.”
“We will not give up in this fight,” Harris said. “This is your home.”
The U.S. Department of Justice is challenging the court decision and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is drafting a new rule to try to protect it.
At the same time, a push to pass legislation creating a path to citizenship for DACA recipients remains gridlocked on Capitol Hill. Many Republicans flatly refuse to move on the issue until the southern border is secured.
“All around the world, people are hearing Senate Democrats saying, ‘We’re in the business of amnesty,'” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said during a hearing on immigration Wednesday.
He said Democrats’ plan would encourage an even bigger influx of people at the border.
Without Republicans on board, Democrats say they may include a path to citizenship in their $3.5 trillion family and jobs plan, with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., promising at the hearing, “I’m not going to give up on this issue.”
Republicans oppose the family and jobs plan, too.
“It’s like they have systemically identified the worst idea for American families on every single issue … and set about rolling them into one huge, reckless proposal,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.