Dream & Promise Act Most Inclusive Dream Legislation in Decades

May 20, 2019

Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375, [email protected]

Dream & Promise Act Most Inclusive Dream Legislation in Decades

WASHINGTON — Ahead of the House Judiciary Committee markup of the Dream and Promise Act — introduced by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) — there is growing praise for the legislation. The legislation includes a permanent road to U.S. citizenship for immigrant youth, including recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and individuals with temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED); an increase in age limits to ensure protections go beyond young people, but also to people who’ve been in the country for decades; and strong due process protections and judicial review.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The first two years of the Trump administration have been marked by chaos and a complete decimation of long-standing pillars of our legal immigration framework. Immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED primarily from African and Central American countries were among those most directly impacted when the administration unlawfully attempted to end these programs, leaving millions in legal limbo after doing everything the government has asked of them.

“The Dream and Promise Act, as introduced, is more than a solution: it’s a blueprint for an inclusive, positive vision for the country that rightly recognizes immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED as integral members of our families, communities, and society. Those who will benefit from this legislation call this country home. It’s where they go to school, raise their children, run their small businesses, and are building their careers and purchasing homes.

“Though this legislation represents a progressive step forward, we also know it falls short of our vision for truly inclusive change in important ways. We have deep concerns about provisions added after its introduction that conflict with long-standing criminal justice reform efforts aimed at combating racial profiling and criminalization of youth of color. Specifically, the proposed legislation leaves people’s futures potentially subject to error-ridden databases that purport to track alleged gang members. These provisions are wasteful and contrary to the direction we have taken as a nation toward much-needed reform of our criminal justice system. Immigrants must not be left out of this conversation, and Democrats should not perpetuate a criminal narrative that harms so many communities of color across the country.

“Notwithstanding these serious concerns, we recognize that House leadership is presenting substantive policy proposals that address some of the largest immigration issues we face and are in strong contrast to the president’s punitive, cruel, and unlawful policies that serve solely to terrorize and separate millions of immigrant families. It is crucial that, as the bill moves forward, no further changes are made that threaten to undermine the inclusive vision we are fighting for.

“The Dream and Promise Act is a strong first step toward creating an immigration system that is in line with our 21st century needs. Members of Congress should use the markup process as an opportunity to discuss expanding opportunities for all of us to thrive. We will continue to fight in the halls of Congress and alongside our communities for a day in which all of us, regardless of country of birth or income, belong in this country we call home.”