KIDS Act: Watered-down DREAM

July 23, 2013

Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822

“KIDS Act” Hearing Defies House’s Record Against DREAMers

WASHINGTON — The House Subcommittee on Immigration holds a hearing today on the status of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children without documents, despite the House leadership’s longstanding opposition to DREAM Act legislation.

Furthermore, House leaders are drafting their so-called KIDS Act, which is expected to be a watered-down version of the DREAM Act. DREAMers who have been leading the movement for immigration reform, the National Immigration Law Center, and other immigration reform allies oppose this effort. Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and of the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement at the start of today’s hearing:

“The National Immigration Law Center has been leading national legislative efforts on behalf of the DREAM Act since 2001 because we know firsthand the many contributions DREAMers have made to our county and the incredible potential they have if only they are allowed to fulfill their dreams.

“While we welcome a valid discussion about commonsense immigration reform, we are disheartened by House members’ DREAM-related efforts, which seem designed to fragment immigrant families, DREAMers, and immigration advocate communities.

“The purpose of today’s hearing is clear: Certain House members want to create a perception that House leaders are interested in DREAMers’ contributions to our country. Unfortunately, the House’s actions over the past few months speak louder than their words.

“Two years ago, the chief sponsors of the KIDS Act — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, both of Virginia — voted against the DREAM Act that was approved by a bipartisan majority in the House. Then a few weeks ago, members of this subcommittee voted to resume the deportation of DREAMers who are eligible for temporary relief from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) administrative program.

“Only now, after the Senate has passed an immigration bill and the House faces pressure to act, have the leaders offered up a hearing on DREAMers, while vowing to reject a road to citizenship for their families, friends, and other immigrants across the U.S. who would be eligible under the Senate’s plan.

“We will continue to work hard for our families, and we look forward to having a good discussion with House leaders about a road to citizenship and justice for all, not just some.”

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