Sens. Durbin and Graham introduced their bipartisan DREAM Act on Sept. 5. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

"America needs to know that the clock is ticking" for Dreamers, Sen. Dick Durbin said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

The bottom line: Homeland Security will only process applications for Dreamers who are eligible for DACA renewal between now and March 5th if they receive them by Thursday. Durbin urged the department to consider applications coming from hurricane-ravaged Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico on a case-by-case basis.

What happens if Congress doesn't act by March 5th? Dreamers' work permits will start to expire. Without work authorization and the prosecutorial discretion provided by DACA, they will no longer have a place in the United States. Durbin and Sen. Lindsay Graham introduced the DREAM Act on Sept. 5th, and Durbin said Tuesday, "We do have the beginning of broad bipartisan support in the Senate." But Congress has yet to establish a legal path to citizenship for Dreamers, despite the fact that 83% of Americans support such legislation, per a Fox News poll.

From the hearing:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not have "specific instructions" to go after DACA recipients for deportation.
  • The Obama-era policy that immigration enforcement offices such as ICE and CBP will not use the information Dreamers provided in applications against them or their families still holds.
  • "[Dreamers] are a benefit to the country, as are many immigrants," Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler said.

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

6 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.