Historic Dream and Promise Act Moves Forward in the House

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: nekessa@undocublack.org

Historic Dream and Promise Act Moves Forward in the House

Washington, DC - The historic Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) successfully passed the House Judiciary Committee last night after a day-long debate. The bill now moves to the Rules Committee and is expected to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives in early June.

The legislation, which provides a path to legalization for undocumented young people, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders, is a reflection of the growing power of our movement in demanding protection for all thirteen TPS countries and DED for Liberia. The bill offers due process for immigrants and ensures that vacated convictions and marijuana possession do not preclude people from eligibility.

The House of Representatives should pass the Dream and Promise Act, take up important measures like Dignity for Detained Immigrants and undo the disastrous 1996 immigration laws that continue to harm our communities.

Jonathan Jayes-Green, Co-Founder and Director, UndocuBlack Network:

While the bill is not perfect, I am proud of the work we’ve done fighting back against the criminalization of our communities in both the current bill and especially in the proposed amendments. Every amendment that was offered yesterday seeking to exclude people and to feed xenophobic and racist fears about immigrants was denied - all 11 of them! Additionally, attempts to remove Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from the list of TPS countries eligible for protections were defeated.

Patrice Lawrence, Policy and Advocacy Director, UndocuBlack Network:

Last night’s passage of the Dream and Promise Act out of committee is the result of a hard-fought battle won because of the might of our people, our members and our allies. The current Dream and Promise Act is the first time we have a landmark immigration bill in Congress that doesn’t exclude people based on marijuana possession, civil disobedience and minor traffic offenses. While the bill is not everything we asked for and pushed for, we are celebrating the historic wins we achieved. We remain watchful through this process and look forward to getting this bill passed through the House in early June.

Gabrielle Jackson, Mental Wellness Director, UndocuBlack Network:

It was amazing watching the Dream and Promise Act pass the House Judiciary Committee knowing it is a momentous step and a testament to the hard work and commitment of the people who pushed for this to happen! There are still some concerns about the bill as it stands. We are still concerned about the potential exclusion of people who have been placed in secure residential treatment facilities because that could exclude vulnerable Black and Brown youth who are often committed for long term mental health treatment and rehabilitation.