WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden will reinstate legal protections for “Dreamers” on “day one,” incoming Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Sunday.
As part of his anti-immigrant agenda, President Donald Trump scrapped in 2017 Obama-era rules safeguarding “Dreamers” from being deported.
Biden campaigned on restoring the protections, and Klain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the executive orders being prepared for Biden to sign when he is inaugurated Jan. 20 will address “Dreamer” status.
“We have a big stack of business for day one already,” Klain told host Chuck Todd.
“We’re going to rejoin Paris, we’re going to protect the Dreamers on day one, we’re going to take other action on health care on day one that the president-elect’s talked about during the campaign. So, we’ve got a busy, busy day one on ready scenario here.”
The Paris mention refers to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international climate change pact.
Background: The group now known as “Dreamers” were brought to the U.S. as children who did not have a choice because their parents — not them — committed the illegal act.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was the force behind creation of the “Dreamer” movement and has been crusading to protect these youths for more than 18 years. The “Dreamer” name comes from Durbin’s legislation, titled the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — known as the DREAM Act
President Barack Obama could not get Congress to pass a law to protect Dreamers and in June 2012 created a program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, for those entering the U.S. under the age of 16 and who have clean records.
This was not a permanent solution because a president could — as Trump did — erase an order from a previous president.
Biden, as president, will soon sign another executive order putting his version of “Dreamer” protections back in place.
Georgia and Dreamers: Biden’s path forward on “Dreamers” and the rest of his agenda hinges on two Georgia runoff races in January with the outcome determining whether Senate control flips from the Republicans to the Democrats.
With Democrats holding the House, Senate and the White House, Congress could pass a law to protect “Dreamers” that could not be easily scrapped in an executive order.
Todd asked Klain about “the importance of the Georgia runoffs to the president-elect’s agenda.”
Klain revealed that Biden will campaign in Georgia.
“I think you’ll see the president-elect campaign down there as we get closer to election day. We’re going to put people, money, resources down there to help our two good candidates win.
“I’m very hopeful that we can win those seats, but we’re going to work, but one thing that I think Joe Biden’s made very clear — you’ve talked about it all year long, Chuck — is that he’s going to work with whoever gets elected, Democrats, Republicans, independents, people across the country, people in civil society, people in all kinds of sectors. And so, that’s what he’s going to do.
“We want to win those seats in Georgia. It will certainly be helpful to win those seats in Georgia, but we’re not going to let anything deter us from moving forward with our agenda.”