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Dream & Promise Act: An Affirmative Step Towards Recognizing Immigrants for the Americans They Already Are

 

“It makes no sense to ‘undocument’ those who are currently documented and to target the most-vetted immigrants in America those who have had to come forward periodically to re-apply for DACA or TPS or what have you.”

On Tuesday, House Democrats will introduce HR 6, the Dream & Promise Act,  to provide a permanent solution to immigrants who qualify for the Dream Act and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). It is the first time that the fate of the Dreamers and those with TPS/DED have been joined together in one stand-alone piece of legislation, and the bill is being shepherded to introduction and enactment by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), longtime champion of the Dream Act, and Reps. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) and Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), who have long championed permanent protections for TPS/DED communities.  

The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

It’s time for our immigration laws to catch up with reality. This proposal, the Dream & Promise Act, is an affirmative step towards formally recognizing immigrants as the Americans they already are. This s a major shift in the debate. We are going on offense.

There is an urgency to this legislation because Trump has terminated DACA and is ending TPS and DED. The immigrants Trump has targeted are those with families, businesses, careers, and car notes who are playing by the rules and contributing to their communities. Rather than see them as assets to the country, Trump is targeting them because he feels being as anti-immigration and as anti-immigrant as possible is an asset to his 2020 campaign.

The vast majority of voters, including many who supported Trump, simply do not understand why the President wants to take millions of immigrants who are integrated into American society and make them undocumented and deportable. It makes no sense to “undocument” those who are currently documented and to target the most-vetted immigrants in America – those who have had to come forward periodically to re-apply for DACA or TPS or what have you.

The thrust of Donald Trump’s crusade against immigration is to sow chaos on the border, depict immigrants as scary criminals and rapists, and demand incarceration and deportation for immigrants and refugees. But, beyond his rhetoric, the President’s policies – to take immigrants with deep ties to their communities and put them in the deportation pipeline – do not sit well with most American voters. They just are not onboard with manufacturing new undocumented immigrants to deport.

As numerous polls are showing, the more Trump talks about immigrants, the more the American people are moving in the direction of supporting immigrants and immigration.  As Trump doubles down on his wall, the American people are looking for practical solutions that go beyond partisanship, rally slogans and outright lies. The introduction of HR 6 is coming just at the right moment to recast the debate away from divisive rhetoric, ineffective walls and bureaucratic barriers towards pragmatic, achievable steps to manage immigration and immigrant policy effectively.