Vice President Kamala D. Harris on Tuesday marked the ninth anniversary of the Obama-era program that shields some illegal immigrants from deportation, saying the Biden administration will do “everything in our power” to protect them.
“It is critically important that we provide a pathway to citizenship to give people a sense of security,” Ms. Harris said as she called on the Senate to approve legislation that would provide permanent legal status for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
The vice president met with Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Bob Menendez of New Jersey and members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
She recalled a hearing when she was a senator, questioning Trump administration Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly about his commitment to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“We knew it was under threat by the administration at the time,” she said. “We are here on this day on the anniversary of DACA … to tell you this administration fully intends to do everything in our power to protect our Dreamers. … There is no question about that.”
She said of the Dreamers, “There is an urgency to this moment, and your stories are America’s stories.”
A federal judge in Texas is weighing a court challenge to strike down the program.