NILC Statement Following Dream and Promise Act Markup

May 22, 2019

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

NILC Statement Following Dream and Promise Act Markup

WASHINGTON — Following the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Dream and Promise Act, Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This is a good day. In the midst of so much pain and trauma caused by the Trump administration, the House Judiciary Committee has taken an important leap forward to show us a more inclusive vision for our country. The Dream and Promise Act would bring long-overdue stability to millions of immigrants, including recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other immigrant youth, as well as to people with temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED).

“And we’re equally pleased to see that those who tried to derail this important effort were seen for what they are: fearmongers who prefer to demonize immigrants rather than recognize our humanity and how inextricably linked we are to communities across the country.

“The Dream and Promise Act is the most encouraging step we’ve seen Congress take in years to provide permanent relief for community members who have had their futures placed in limbo by the Trump administration’s cruel actions to end DACA and TPS for so many.

“The timing of this legislation couldn’t be more relevant. With more than 100,000 DACA-eligible students graduating high school this year and looking to start the next chapter of their lives, we are reminded of how critical it is for Congress to act swiftly to pass bipartisan legislation — without harmful trade-offs — that will allow these young people to continue to contribute to the country they know as home.

“This bill is not perfect. It contains problematic measures that undermine fundamental principles of fairness embedded in our legal system and further narratives that only serve to criminalize communities of color. We are committed to building stronger alliances with our criminal justice reform allies so that one day soon we will dismantle this criminalization framework that scapegoats people of color, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet.

“Nevertheless, we urge the House of Representatives to pass this much-needed solution and send a message to the country that the immigrants who would be eligible for relief under the Dream and Promise Act belong here. This is their country too, and their families, communities, and our country will benefit greatly from their being able to remain here. The House must pass this legislation  without delay.”