In a letter sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, members of the House Judiciary Committee are threatening a vote on an executive amnesty package in the lame-duck session of Congress, in the same month President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order ending DACA, an Obama-era program that allows young people brought to the United States as children to stay in the country legally.
“I cannot help but notice that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Brown are pushing this amnesty package to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for Dreamers,” the letter states.
“These Dreamers, like those from other countries who have immigrated to the U.S. in recent years, have risked everything to get to this country, and we owe them nothing less.”
The letter comes after House Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, announced that he plans to vote against a DACA bill on the floor of the Senate.
It’s the latest indication of how divided the Republican Party is on DACA, which has seen a surge of Democratic support since the president announced it in February.
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a draft of legislation that would restore DACA, but only with new restrictions on what the program means for immigrants.
Under the legislation, all young people from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador who have lived in the United “for five years or more” would be protected from deportation, but would not be eligible for permanent residency or other benefits.
DACA also does not allow immigrants who have been in the U and have a work permit from another country to be protected against deportation.
A recent study found that DACA was associated with fewer than half of the 1.4 million people who have left the country since the program began.
Trump, who campaigned on ending DACA and has called the program “an amazing thing,” has suggested that his administration could end the program and that DACA would end if the president won the election.
The proposal would apply to all DACA beneficiaries and not just those who have entered the country in the past five years.
That’s a significant change from previous proposals that would have limited the protections of DACA to those who had entered the U with a work visa, but not to those with an immigrant visa.
The lawmakers’ letter is the latest sign of the growing opposition to the measure, which would not only repeal DACA but also extend temporary protection to millions of young people who were brought to this nation as children by their parents.
The Congressional Research Service estimated that ending DACA would cost $1.1 trillion over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.
It also would end DACA’s protections for children who have received welfare benefits or whose parents have taken them into the U., the Congressional Budget Office estimated.
The House Judiciary and House Ways and Means Committees are both expected to take up the measure in the coming days.
The Dreamers issue came up during a press conference on Wednesday with Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights leader who was the first African-American congressman to sit on the House Democratic leadership team in the 1970s and 1980s.
Lewis and other members of Congress called for the House to vote on the DACA bill because they believe it could give Dreamers a path to permanent residency, but many other Democrats also said they would oppose it.
Some Democrats are also wary of the proposal, which they believe could also be used to expand other immigration-related programs that have not been subject to the legislative process.