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Today, the Senate is introducing two new bills that will provide permanent protections for those who immigrated to the U.S. as children and have since grown up in the U.S. as well as those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades as a result of disasters and political unrest in their home countries. The bill introductions are especially important given DHS’ upcoming decision this Sunday on whether or not to extend DED for Liberians.
The Dream Act, introduced by Senators Durbin and Graham, and the Secure Act, introduced by Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, will ensure that documented immigrants the Trump administration is making “undocumented” are given the permanent protections they deserve as long-standing contributing members of our communities.
The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, on the introduction of the two bills:
The Senate’s introduction of the Dream Act and Secure Act are long awaited steps in the right direction. The Trump administration threw millions of lives into limbo by terminating the legal status of people with DACA and TPS, so now is the time for both the House and Senate to provide a permanent solution to these contributing members of society.
Dreamers and TPS and DED holders face the very real prospect of being forcibly deported to countries they left long ago. In turn, this puts hundreds of thousands of U.S.-born children at risk of separation from their parents and family.
The Senate should move to pass the Dream Act and Secure Act to provide these essential permanent protections for now at-risk populations. America has already invested in the lives of DACA-recipients, TPS and DED holders. They’re our children’s classmates, our colleagues, our doctors and teachers. They are Americans. It makes no sense to penalize our country by ripping away their legal status or deporting them to countries they have not been to in decades.
Those eligible under these bills are Americans in all but paperwork. They are homeowners, business owners, students, workers, and homemakers. They live in our communities, contribute to the economy and have built strong families here in America. It’s time to create a line for them to get into and a process so that we formally recognize Dreamers as well as TPS and DED holders as the Americans they already are.