tags: , , AVEF, Press Releases

300+ Groups Call on New Democratic House to Prioritize TPS & Dream Legislation Within 100 Days of New Congress

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A recording of the call is available here.

On a press call earlier today, Rep-elect Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) and immigration advocates announced a letter signed by 300+ organizations urging the upcoming Democratically-controlled House of Representatives to pass and send to the Senate stand alone, clean legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders within the first 100 days of the 116th Congress.

“Like so many other immigrants, I came to the United States as a teenager and worked hard to get ahead and make a home in this country for myself, my children and my family,” said Congresswoman-Elect Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, an immigrant from Ecuador who won her election in Florida’s 26th Congressional District. “Now I’m committed to making sure that the same opportunities that allowed me to become the first Ecuadorian elected to Congress are available for the next generation of immigrants. I’m eager to work with the House leadership and with all the newly-elected members to making sure that we protect DREAMers and TPS families.”

“Latinos came out to vote in record numbers, electing progressive Latinos up and down the ballot. Latino voters were key to take back the House of Representatives, now we expect the new majority in the House to take action and continue to defend our community from Trump’s attacks,” said Cristóbal J. Alex, Latino Victory Project president. “We call on all members of the new Congress and leadership to listen to the American people and to pass legislation within the first 100 days that would provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS recipients.”

Jaime Contreras, Vice President of SEIU 32BJ noted, “Voters wants TPS recipients and Dreamers to stay. That message was made loud and clear on Election Day. Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton ran unashamed of her support for immigrants –and she beat Barbara Comstock and now has a mandate to lead to protect these populations in Congress. We are calling on Congress to understand the urgency and act before it is too late for the thousands of families who are relying on them.”

Patrice Lawrence, National Policy and Advocacy Director at UndocuBlack Network said, “These new members of Congress – including the women from Native American, Muslim and LGBTQ backgrounds – made history. They were elected with the hope that they will protect the rights of the working class, immigrants and underrepresented populations who are overrepresented in the Trump Administration’s attacks. We don’t have the time nor opportunity to choose what communities to protect. Our communities, including the National TPS Alliance, have done the groundwork to share the stories of TPS holders with advocates and legislators around the country. The clock is ticking for Sudanese, Nicaraguans and Liberians on TPS and DED; they will lose their protection by March 2019 if Congress doesn’t act.  We are disrupting the narrative that DREAM and TPS only impacts Latinx communities. Our name UndocuBlack is intentional. Our members are Black – African, Caribbean and Afro-Latinx immigrants. We are DACA, we are TPS. The time is now, the time is upon us, we call on the Democratic-controlled US House to pass a clean, standalone DREAM and TPS bill that provides a permanent solution. It is their duty to immigrants, it is their duty to those who elected them, it is their duty to the wider U.S. population.”

“Legislation like the Dream Act and the American Promise Act provide a real pathway forward and with both communities under threat, we call on newly elected champions in the House to pass clean, permanent legislation in the first 100 days because immigrant youth and TPS holders are living in limbo, under the band-aid of court injunctions that continue to allow DACA renewals and TPS status to only four countries,” said Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director at United We Dream. “We will fight for a clean, permanent solution that does not harm people, because we must disrupt the notion that permanent protections for immigrant communities must be packaged with poison pills that harm other immigrants.”

Avideh Moussavian, Advocacy Legislative Director at the National Immigration Law Center said, “The Trump administration has a single vision of oppressing and excluding communities of color, regardless of their immigration status. They vastly expanded the population of people who are not protected from deportation in part by stripping over a million people combined of protection from DACA and from TPS. While we currently have federal court injunctions in place correcting temporary protections to over 800,000 Dreamers and over 300,000 TPS holders, we need clean permanent solutions from Congress and call on Democratic Representatives to make this legislative a priority within the first 100 days of the new Congress. Democrats must take the message from voters that was made loud and clear two weeks ago: reject the Trump administration’s xenophobia and anti-immigrant agenda.”