Judiciary committee members should support the Dream and Promise Act language released today and stop amendments to build up the deportation force or racial profiling.
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Washington, DC – This week, House Democratic leaders begin the committee markup process on the Dream and Promise Act. The original bill was co-sponsored by 231 Members of Congress and represented a clear contrast to the racist, anti-immigrant actions of Donald Trump who killed the DACA, TPS and DED programs. Judiciary Committee Democrats unveiled changes to the Dream Act and TPS/DED sections of the bill to be considered by the full committee.
Greisa Martinez Rosas, Deputy Executive Director of United We Dream and herself a potential beneficiary of the Dream and Promise Act said:
Judiciary committee members should pass the Dream and Promise Act released today through their committee and stop amendments to put immigrants in danger. We will oppose any amendments or attempts to use our safety as bargaining chips to build up the deportation force or to legislate the racial profiling and criminalization of our communities.
The Dream and Promise Act builds upon the legacy of the Dream Act, which last passed the House in 2010, and now offers permanent protection to over 2 million people, including those who benefited from the TPS and DED programs.
The latest bill reflects many priorities for immigrant youth such as the idea that groups beyond young people should be protected, that a college degree should not be the only qualifier for citizenship and that people who have been deported can apply and return to their families. The bill also says that young people who entered the United States at age 18 or younger could be eligible, that marijuana or civil disobedience-related misdemeanors should be waived and that young people fighting their case will have a right to counsel.
Unfortunately, the manager’s amendment also includes unnecessary provisions never before seen in a Dream Act which could bar people from protection because of juvenile infractions and for the first time added problematic language related to alleged gang affiliations. These themes only serve to demonize immigrants and people of color. They are wrong and we will continue to fight to eliminate them from any bill signed by a future President.
Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director for United We Dream, added:
While we are making important progress on this bill, we will oppose any amendments – in committee or on the floor – which use the crisis that Donald Trump created for immigrant youth, TPS and DED holders to build up the deportation force or which put immigrants in danger.
Immigrant youth know that we are in a long term fight to protect our communities.
As Congress considers legislation like the Dream and Promise Act, they must stop the endless budget increases for detention camps and deportation agents who just last week killed yet another child.
We will keep organizing and building until every member of our community is protected and can thrive.
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 500,000 members, five branches with over 100 affiliate organizations across 28 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States. You can find more about UWD online at www.unitedwedream.org.