Pushed forward by Democrats, House passes expanded Dream Act

Young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, have been waiting for this one moment for a long time.

On Tuesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act, also known as H.R.6.

The bill that would give legal status on a pathway to citizenship to an estimated 2.5 million people.

Fil-Am California congressman TJ Cox was among the 230 Democrats who voted for the bill. 187 voted against it — all Republicans.

“The American dream and promise act includes a number of provisions which would allow our young men and women, the lawyers, doctors, teachers and nurses to live lawfully and continue contributing to their communities in the only country they’ve ever known to be home.”

Cox pointed out that his central valley district is among the many areas across the country that not only support providing a legal pathway for the so-called “Dreamers,” but would also suffer if they lose them.

“n the 21st congressional district, there are an estimated 7,400 DACA recipients, and 12,000 more who are eligible to re-apply. The economic loss from deporting DACA recipients in my district would exceed more than $400,000,000 annually.”

This bill is a more expansive version of the Democratic immigration bill — the Dream Act.

This latest bill would provide permanent legal status to recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, as well as allow 400,000 people given temporary protected status — mainly from Central America, Africa and the Middle East — which have been engulfed in wars, civil conflict and natural disasters – to get permanent legal status.

“These are people who have already been vetted by the United States. They’re good people who deserve a chance and a pathway to legal residence which is something they never had as a DACA holder or a holder of Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals under Obama,” said Amanda Bernardo. “It’s something that is even more tenuous now under this administration. So the fact that this bill has passed now is very promising and I hope the Senate hears this issue, vote on it and pass it as well.”

But that’s unlikely with the Republican-controlled senate. Most Republican legislators have argued that the bill does not include funding for border security or changes to U.S. asylum laws.

The White House has also issued a veto threat against the measure.

“That bill which would give status or path to citizenship for 2.7 million people who came here illegally or more, will allow criminals to stay here, will now go to the Senate and will have no chance of passing. Why? Because the bill is flawed, it’s not what the American people wants.”

But the House Democrats and the seven house republicans who voted for the bill have said that this is the promise they have made for years to dreamers.

“Unfortunately, this bill is just still a bill and not law yet, the next thing that I will tell clients is just to monitor. Monitor the legislation and advocate as much as you can and feel comfortable given whatever this individual tenuous or lack of status is.”

If it becomes law, the American dream and promise act would grant dreamers 10 years of legal residence status if they meet certain requirements.

They can get permanent green cards after completing at least two years of higher education or military service, or after working for three years.

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  • Mario
    6 June 2019 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Good bill but it should passed thru the GOP control Senate. In exchange , they will asked for the approval of Immigration reform Bill which is, funding of the Border Wall, removal of Obama Catch and release law, end of Chain migration and more immigrant visa based on Merit-based system. I believed Pelosi and the Democrat will NOT agree on Republican demand. In my opinion the GOP Senate will not passed the bill , if they do, Trump will VETO the bill if there is no Immigration reform. The only solution is 2020 election the Republican should control the House. this will end OBSTRUCTION and the country can move forward.