Earlier this week, House Democrats kept their promise from the beginning of the 116th Congress and passed a legislative solution to protect “Dreamers” – children illegally brought to the United States through no fault of their own. The legislation also provides immigration status protection to individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who fled violence or natural disasters in their country of origin. And because these immigrant groups have had their lives thrown into chaos due to Donald Trump’s complete and immoral flip flop to end these programs, H.R. 6 would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for these hard-working, tax-paying, military-serving immigrants who call the United States home.
The American Dream and Promise Act is now pending consideration by the U.S. Senate. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges all Americans abroad to: 1) contact their two senators to support H.R. 6 and to demand a vote on this long-overdue legislation, and, 2) if represented by one of the 230 Democrats or 7 Republicans who voted to pass H.R. 6, to contact them with a thank-you message for being on the right side of American history.
After the House vote took place, hundreds of attendees in the House gallery erupted into thunderous applause. Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, stated, “I’m delighted that the House has passed this important piece of legislation, supporting a group of young adults we should be proud to welcome into the U.S. as citizens. I urge the Senate to get to work and do the same. Democrats Abroad stands with Dreamers, and we will continue to fight for sensible immigration reform that embraces immigrants the way so many of us have been embraced in the countries we live in around the world.”
We have already seen this shameless administration rip families apart, sending undocumented immigrants to countries where they often have no family members or support, no familiarity with the local language, and face efforts to suppress liberties such as freedom of speech. After years of do-nothing Republican Congresses, our elected Democratic lawmakers took decisive action on protecting Dreamers and other vulnerable immigrant groups who have been constantly threatened with deportation to countries in which they simply have limited or no connection.
H.R. 6 is not only about Dreamers nor is it about any particular individual person; this is about where our country stands in welcoming and protecting vulnerable immigrants who have embraced our culture and have come to love the United States. With this week’s vote on H.R. 6, House Democrats are on record as siding with the values symbolized with the Statue of Liberty, which for years has taken in groups of immigrants fleeing countries where inhumane atrocities have occurred.
The Republican-majority Senate must now listen to the vast majority of Americans calling for the immediate protection of U.S. service-members, teachers, doctors, and other immigrants in our home communities, and bring the American Dream and Promise Act up for a vote.