NILC Statement Following Historic House Passage of Dream and Promise Act

MORE: Read Berenice Gonzalez’s excellent article in The Torch about some reasons why this bill passed the House of Representatives and the work that remains to be done.

June 4, 2019

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

NILC Statement Following Historic House Passage of Dream and Promise Act

WASHINGTON — In a 237-187 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Dream and Promise Act, legislation that, if enacted, would allow more than 2.5 million immigrant youth, people with TPS, and other immigrants to get on a road to U.S. citizenship. Below is a statement from the National Immigration Law Center’s executive director, Marielena Hincapié, noting the historic nature of this vote.

“The passage of Dream and Promise Act is a testament to the work, commitment, and growing power of immigrant communities and the movement for immigrant justice. This victory, eight years in the making, is more urgent now than ever before.

“This bill includes precedent-setting inclusivity, including a roadmap to U.S. citizenship for 2.5 million immigrant youth and people with temporary protected status or deferred enforced departure, an increase in age caps, stronger judicial protections, and more.

“However, this compromise bill is not perfect. At a time when the country has undergone an evolution with respect to criminal justice reform, this bill includes troubling language that unfairly criminalizes communities of color. Any future legislation must work to ensure that the language is updated to reflect the country’s changing values.

“Despite the regular attacks on immigrants by this administration, NILC and our partners fought to secure and expand measures that provide greater opportunity to them. The passage of this bill sends a message that they are a priority. While the House has answered them with passage of this important bill, the Senate has shown no interest in representing the millions of immigrants in their states. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell should stand up for the 157,336 immigrants in Kentucky who contribute to his state every day by ensuring that the Senate prioritizes its own bill that addresses immigrants.

“NILC has been advocating for the Dream Act since 2001, and we won’t stop until immigrants and their families are able to remain with their loved ones, live freely, and have the tools they need to thrive and fulfill their full human potential.”