Today House Democrats introduce HR 6, the Dream & Promise Act, offering a path to citizenship for people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). These people have lived in the United States for years, often for decades. Every few years, they have had to prove all over again that they are upstanding residents, have not committed crimes, and deserve to continue in their temporary status. As Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, writes:
“The vast majority of voters, including many who supported Trump, simply do not understand why the President wants to take millions of immigrants who are integrated into American society and make them undocumented and deportable. It makes no sense to “undocument” those who are currently documented and to target the most-vetted immigrants in America – those who have had to come forward periodically to re-apply for DACA or TPS or what have you.”
The bill goes beyond the 800,000 people who now have DACA to open the path to citizenship to more “Dreamers,” the undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Many Dreamers did not get DACA protection before Trump cut off applications in 2017.
People with TPS, DED, and DACA protection had only temporary permission to work and live in the United States, and no way to apply for permanent status. The Dream and Promise Act would give them a way to move forward to permanent residence and, eventually, to eligibility for citizenship.
While the Dream and Promise Act would provide protection, it would come too late for Liberians with DED, which expires at the end of March and can only be extended by the president. Many of those who will lose DED protection and permission to work live in Minnesota:
“Over nearly two decades, Stevens has raised a family and worked for Boston Scientific, Medtronic and a firm that cares for vulnerable adults.
“Now, she’s facing a looming deadline that could result in her being deported back to Liberia.
“How can somebody say, ‘Go home?'” Stevens asked at a news conference Sunday in Brooklyn Park. “After living here for 18 years, with my kids. I have a home. I have a job. I have friends. I cannot wrap my head around, ‘Go home.’ What is home? As far as I know, Minnesota is my home. America is my home.”…
“[U.S. Representative Dean] Phillips said he hopes that another extension is followed by legislation that establishes a pathway to citizenship for people who, he said, have been living in legal limbo far too long.
“It is time that we consider what’s really at the heart of this. Which is a pathway to citizenship for people who have earned it and who are following the law and paying taxes and creating jobs and have families here, with children who are American citizens,” he said.”