By Josh Leach on May 30, 2019
Immigrant communities and their allies won a major victory on May 22 when the Dream Act (H.R. 2820) and the American Promise Act (H.R. 2821)* passed the House Judiciary Committee, placing the bills within sight of a vote on the House floor. This groundbreaking legislation provides a critical lifeline for immigrants whose legal status is in jeopardy.
Over the past two years, the Trump administration has moved to cancel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for immigrants, placing more than a million people at risk of deportation and long-term separation from their loved ones.
The Dream Act and American Promise Act aim to create a pathway to permanent residency for these immigrants and others in a similar situation. If passed, these bills would provide relief not only for more than a million long-term members of our shared communities, but also for the hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children who have at least one parent who’s a TPS holder.
Numerous hurdles remain before the bills can become law. Nevertheless, the May 22 passage through committee marks the furthest point that bills containing permanent protections for immigrants have advanced in the House in recent years. In addition, thanks to the efforts of frontline advocates and allies across the country, including UUSC, attempts to sabotage the bills with harmful amendments were defeated.
Our partners at the National TPS Alliance—a grassroots coalition of TPS holders around the country—attended the committee hearing in person. They sent the message to Congress: “Nothing about us without us.”
Hundreds of UUSC supporters took action to write to our legislators to ask them to support the Dream Act and the American Promise Act and oppose all harmful amendments. Together, we made a difference. Our voices helped ensure that a clean version of the bills advanced out of committee.
UUSC will be in touch with future ways to support this legislation as it advances. By continuing to support a clean version of the bills in the months ahead, we can help move closer to a world in which no one has to fear being deported from the place they call home.
*Originally introduced as the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), the essential provisions of this bill were later split into two bills, the Dream Act (H.R. 2820) and the American Promise Act (H.R. 2821).
Photo Credit: iStock – vichinterlang
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!