Historic American Dream and Promise Act Reintroduced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Contact: Asha Noor, asha@africans.us, (202) 420-9744

 

Historic American Dream and Promise Act Reintroduced

Washington DC. Yesterday, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard along with Representatives Yvette Clarke and Nydia Velazquez re-introduced H.R.6, also known as the American Dream and Promise Act. This bill would provide a clear pathway to citizenship to more than 3 million Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. CUSP encourages immediate passage of this bill, as the momentum and trajectory is a direct result of the power of our movement and our unyielding fight for permanent solutions. 

If passed, the bill would first grant conditional permanent resident (CPR) status to beneficiaries,  then lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, and eventual citizenship for immigrant youth who entered the U.S. at or before the age of 18, have had continuous physical presence in the U.S. since January 1st, 2021, and who are earning or have earned a high school diploma (or another equivalent). The bill would also provide current or eligible TPS and DED holders who have been in the U.S. for at least 3 years and would have been eligible for TPS or DED in January 2017, the chance to immediately apply for LPR status and eventual citizenship. Importantly, the bill forbids ICE from removing people with the new CPR status, DACA recipients or people who would have been eligible for DACA, as well as children 18 or under who will eventually become eligible for CPR status. It allows folks who were deported or voluntarily departed the U.S. after January 2017 to apply for CPR or LPR status from abroad. For hundreds of thousands in our communities, this bill’s passage would be a huge sigh of relief, after living decades in this country on temporary status. 

This legislation is not without problems, however. Despite the fact that the criminal justice system disproportionately targets Black and brown communities, the bill as introduced yesterday would make the same criminal exclusions a pillar of stone in a ‘transformative’ immigration system, even after 280 organizations called for their removal. We say shame on the secretive and opaque manner in which the bars were negotiated, without consultation with the communities they directly affect and shut out of the bill’s bounty. This will cruelly deny relief to Black and brown members of our community, shrinking eligibility for status and eventually citizenship through unfavorable yet inconspicuous terms of conditions.

We say shame on the legislators who insisted on keeping these harmful provisions. However we also recognize this moment in that it is an opportunity to win a pathway to citizenship for millions in our communities, and so we strongly urge Congress to say YES to HR6. 

“This isn’t a political issue, this is a humanity issue, and especially in this moment as a worker on the frontlines, we need support. I have been in this country for 14 years, and with TPS I have found some relief, but we are in an unstable situation. How much longer will we live in this lingering state? I ask those in Congress, this is not a political negotiation, this is my life. We need permanent residency.”

  • Sajjan Pandey, Nepali TPS holder, Adhikaar member and plaintiff on TPS lawsuit, Bhattarai v Nielsen

“I understand my privilege as a Black DACA recipient. There are stipulations regarding criminality that block many Black immigrants from accessing DACA. I also acknowledge the struggle of renewing my access and privilege every two years to be exploitive and unstable. Although there has been a cultural shift, from referring to people as illegal to now “individuals who are long-term United States residents”, verbiage is not enough. As we continue to push for citizenship for  11 million undocumented people in the U.S., I am grateful for the 2021 Dream Act and a chance at permanent protection.”

  • Joella Roberts, DACA recipient and UndocuBlack Member 

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About Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) and its Core Organizations:

Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) is a collaborative of grassroots immigrant community organizations working together to win permanent status for our members and communities, and build a more inclusive immigrant rights movement that centers the needs and experiences of African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, Arab/Middle Eastern, and API immigrants.

 

The UndocuBlack Network (UBN), founded in 2016, is a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources and contributes to transforming the realities of our people so we are thriving and living our fullest lives. UBN has chapters in New York City, the DC/MD/VA area, and Los Angeles, CA. 

 

Adhikaar (Nepali: rights) is a New York-based non-profit, organizing the Nepali-speaking community to promote human rights and social justice for all. We are a women-led workers’ center and community center focused on workers’ rights, immigration rights, access to affordable healthcare and language justice. We organize the Nepali-speaking community to create broader social change; build coalitions on advocacy campaigns that address our community's needs; center women and the most impacted communities in our leadership; engage members in participatory action research; and implement community education, workplace development training, and support services. 

 

African Communities Together (ACT) is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for our families here in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT empowers African immigrants to integrate socially, get ahead economically, and engage civically. We connect African immigrants to critical services, help Africans develop as leaders, and organize our communities on the issues that matter.

 

Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization based in Southern California that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and connects migrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women, LGBTQAI+ individuals and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. Since 2015, HBA has provided services to asylum seekers and other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, in U.S. detention, and during U.S. immigration proceedings. 

 

National Network for Arab American Community (NNAAC) is a national consortium of independent Arab American community-based organizations. The Network’s primary mission is to build the capacity of Arab American non profit organizations that focus on the needs and issues impacting their local community while collectively addressing those issues nationally. 

 

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