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ICYMI: WaPo Fact Check: Does the Dream and Promise Act Give Green Cards to Gang Members? (Spoiler: NO!)

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“We give them Three Pinocchios”

Throughout the debate over the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), some House Republicans tried to kill the Dream and Promise Act by raising the specter of gang members, smugglers and those with multiple criminal convictions being able to obtain green cards as a result of the legislation. Today, Salvador Rizzo at the Washington Post has extensively fact checked these bogus claims and discovered that not only are they false, there are a huge number of safeguards to ensure that is not the case.

In reality, these attacks are just another page out of Trump’s white nationalist playbook to stereotype all immigrants as criminals. Applicants under this legislation’s legalization program have already undergone stringent criminal background checks in order to qualify for the DACA, TPS, and DED programs. In fact, the requirements for these programs already bar individuals with serious criminal records.

That’s one of the reasons why the Senate must now act swiftly to pass the Dream and Promise Act to provide permanent protections for millions of immigrants including Dreamers and TPS and DED holders, many of whom are long-term residents and are integral parts of American communities and the economy.

The article is excerpted below and is available online here.

When the House passed the Dream and Promise Act earlier this month, Republicans warned that the bill would give gang members, smugglers and repeat criminal offenders the chance to gain legal residence or citizenship.

Also known as H.R. 6, the Democratic legislation would open up a path to a green card for nearly 2.7 million undocumented immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The bill covers “dreamers” — a term for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children — and smaller groups of noncitizens who were eligible for temporary protected status or “deferred enforced departure” before the Trump administration announced it would curb those programs.

… The Dream and Promise Act says it doesn’t give legal status to immigrants who were in criminal street gangs. Any immigrant with a felony conviction is ineligible for the bill’s protections. Those with three or more misdemeanors also are barred. These immigrants would not qualify for legal residence under the bill.

By adopting certain parts of the INA, the bill also excludes immigrants convicted of specific offenses that could be associated with gang activity or organized crime, such as drug trafficking, smuggling, human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. Furthermore, the legislation gives broad discretion to the DHS secretary to deny immigrants deemed a threat to national security or public safety.

Reprieves appear in the bill for immigrants convicted of low-level marijuana and traffic offenses and civil disobedience, but these provisions hardly open the door to gang members or hardened criminals…We give them Three Pinocchios.