Senators Take Important Step to Protect Immigrant Youth and People with TPS or DED

March 26, 2019

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Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Senators Take Important Step to Protect Immigrant Youth and People with TPS or DED

WASHINGTON — Two bills introduced in the U.S. Senate today would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for certain immigrants whose futures in the U.S., the country they call home, have been thrown into uncertainty by President Trump. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reintroduced the bipartisan Dream Act, legislation that would provide permanent protections for eligible immigrant youth, as the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains unclear. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced an updated version of the SECURE Act, which would similarly protect people with temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED). DED protections for Liberians are set to expire on March 31, 2019.

Today’s Senate bill introductions follow the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, two weeks ago in the House of Representatives. The Dream and Promise Act is the first standalone bill to address, simultaneously, the fate of immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED. The bill currently has more than 218 cosponsors.

Avideh Moussavian, legislative director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The introductions of the Dream Act and the SECURE Act in the Senate are critical steps in the right direction. For senators to introduce the two bills on the same day underscores the need for a refreshed legislative approach that considers, as a first step, the fate of longstanding members of our communities whose need for permanent protections is far overdue.

“The fate of the millions of immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED has become only more urgent since their lives were thrown into uncertainty by the Trump administration’s racist and xenophobic efforts to criminalize, detain, and deport as many people in our communities as possible. Congress needs to act urgently to resolve the untenable status quo created by Trump, with an eye toward inclusivity and what will benefit all of us in the long term.”