One Year After Passage of H.R. 6, DACA Recipients and TPS Holders Still Fighting for Pathway to Citizenship
On the one year anniversary of the passage of H.R. 6 in the House of Representatives, Reps. Lucille Royal-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velásquez (D-NY), and Yvette Clark (D-NY) explain in an op-ed for The Hill: “We did our job one year ago, and remain committed to ensuring that our nation’s interests are at the forefront of our work. We strongly believe that H.R. 6 is critical to protecting and honoring the sacrifices of our essential workers, and to preventing the further disruption of communities across America that have been battling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
DACA recipients and TPS holders are fighting on the frontlines of this global crisis while they urgently await the Senate to pass legislation granting them permanent protections. It’s been a year, and over 1 million DACA recipients and TPS holders are still waiting for Republican Senators to pass The Dream and Promise Act.
The op-ed is excerpted below and available online here:
Our nation remains in the grips of a coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans. It is sobering to know that lives could have been saved had the administration acted more quickly….
More than 200,000 DACA recipients and 130,000 TPS beneficiaries work in jobs that the Department of Homeland Security recognizes as essential to the critical infrastructure of the nation. They are doctors, nurses, and home health aides; farmworkers, food processors, and grocery store clerks. They work in our manufacturing plants, warehouses, and transportation services, putting themselves and their family members at risk of infection every day to care for their fellow Americans, bring food to our tables, and keep the economy running.
But like too many essential workers in our country, instead of being given the protection and support they deserve while performing these services, these immigrant workers are being treated as largely expendable or disposable; approximately 1 million DACA recipients and TPS holders are facing the reality that they may soon be forced to leave the only communities they know as home. Throughout President Trump’s term in office, he has taken steps to cruelly and abruptly end DACA and eliminate these TPS protections. Although courts have blocked these actions from taking effect, decisions are expected very soon, which could uphold the president’s actions and upend the lives of countless individuals and families. In the middle of a pandemic, when hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and TPS holders are risking their lives to support our communities, and heading into an economic recovery that will require the ingenuity and tenacity of all Americans, we cannot allow these individuals to live with this fear and uncertainty any longer.
A year ago today, we worked with our colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, on a bipartisan basis. This historic bill would provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers, Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients, and TPS holders, who are American in every way–who have been raising families in the U.S., starting businesses, and contributing to our communities for so many years. As the co-authors of H.R. 6, we were proud to champion this effort to support immigrants who are enriching the fabric of our nation every single day. Unfortunately, this bill has now been languishing in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) legislative graveyard for one full year.
… We continue to urge Leader McConnell and our Republican colleagues in the Senate to bring H.R. 6 up for a vote. We did our job one year ago, and remain committed to ensuring that our nation’s interests are at the forefront of our work. We strongly believe that H.R. 6 is critical to protecting and honoring the sacrifices of our essential workers, and to preventing the further disruption of communities across America that have been battling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.