Last night, the House Judiciary Committee advanced the Dream Act and the American Promise Act– legislation that would establish a roadmap to citizenship for over two million people, including undocumented youth and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.
The proposed legislation is meant to build upon the legacy of campaigns like the clean DREAM Act, which advocated for protections and a pathway to citizenship for immigrant groups beyond young people without increased enforcement measures. However, recent amendments to the bills added unnecessary provisions that expand the grounds of inadmissibility, or criminal bars, to deny individuals relief on the basis of juvenile adjudications or allegations of gang involvement. During the Committee markup, all anti-immigrant amendments were defeated.
Margaret Fung, AALDEF Executive Director, said: “We will fight tirelessly to ensure that the Dream Act and American Promise Act do not include harmful measures that criminalize and pit immigrant communities against each other.”
Stephanie Park, AALDEF community organizer and DACA recipient, said: “We are finally one step closer to providing safety and protection for our immigrant community, without any harmful trade-offs. We will not fall into the administration’s narrative that seeks to associate immigrants with criminality, or that there are ‘good’ immigrants and ‘bad’ immigrants. We need our allies in Congress to continue to firmly hold the line against any other harmful amendments and fight for a clean bill.”
As AALDEF calls on members of the House of Representatives to oppose any and all harmful amendments to the proposed legislation, our work to ensure rights and protections for Asian and other immigrant communities will continue.
For more information, contact:
Stephanie Park, Community Organizer
Annie J. Wang, Director of Immigrant Justice Project