DACA recipients to star in House Dem ads

08/15/17 09:07 AM EDT

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching a series of paid Twitter ads to recruit undocumented immigrants to participate in Democratic campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The DCCC will run the ads in vulnerable Republican districts with large populations of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

The paid campaign will target Republican Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Will Hurd (Texas), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), David Valadao (Calif) and Steve Knight (Calif).Some of the targeted Republicans, like Curbelo and Diaz-Balart, have been among their party’s most vocal supporters of DACA.

In March, Curbelo presented the Recognizing America’s Children Act, a bill that would provide protection to some DACA recipients. Coffman, Denham, Diaz-Balart and Valadao were among the original sponsors of the bill.

Still, Democrats say that support has not translated into tangible legislative action from the majority side of the aisle.

“This digital campaign comes at a critical time for the nation, as House Republicans continue to play politics with future of hardworking immigrant communities,” said Javier Gamboa of the DCCC.

“The fate of DREAMers and DACA recipients is at risk as long as Republicans control the House, and these ads will help us build a coalition of DREAMers and DACA recipients who are motivated to elect more Democrats in the 2018 midterms,” he added.

"Dreamers" refers to undocumented immigrants who would eventually gain permanent residency through the DREAM Act, a bill first introduced in 2001 that has failed to pass in multiple Congresses.

The future of DACA and its nearly 800,000 recipients is uncertain, as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has threatened court action against the program unless the Trump administration rescinds it by Sept. 5.

Neither the White House nor the Justice Department have said whether they'll defend the program in court, although President Trump has publicly expressed sympathy for DACA recipients.