Higgins Announces House Passage of the American Dream and Promise Act
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which he’s a cosponsor of, by a vote of 237-187. The bill takes several steps to protect Dreamers, those who were brought to the US as children of undocumented immigrants, and those with either Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Many Dreamers are not aware of their immigration status until they are nearly adults and have only known the US as their home all their lives. As many as 2.5 million people could be affected by the legislation.
The Trump Administration removed protections for Dreamers when ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and rescinded TPS and DED designations for many. If action isn’t taken, families will be separated and communities torn apart.
Congressman Higgins said: “I’m proud to be a cosponsor of H.R. 6. This much needed legislation allows Dreamers and those with protected status to pursue all of the opportunities America has to offer with confidence and certainty in their status and with a fair pathway to citizenship.”
According to the University of Southern California's Dornsife Center for the Study of Immigration Integration, Western New York’s 26th Congressional District has 1,600 individuals eligible for protection under H.R. 6, who contribute more than $5 million in federal taxes each year
Under H.R. 6, eligible Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients will be able to apply for Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) and eventually citizenship if they meet a number of conditions. For Dreamers/DACA recipients, those eligible must have come to the United States before the age of 18 and been present in the country for at least 4 years and either completed a higher education degree, served in the armed forces, or hold a job. Dreamers must also maintain a clean record with no disqualifying acts, like felony convictions. For those with TPS or DED, H.R.6 would provide a clear path to LPR so long as they had, or were eligible for, TPS or DED status on January 1, 2017 and have been here for 3 years. TPS and DED recipients must also have committed no disqualifying acts, such as felony or misdemeanor convictions.
The legislation has support from more than 400 outside groups across the country, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United We Dream, New York Immigration Coalition, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Sierra Club, the National Hispanic Federation, AFL-CIO, SEIU, CWA, ACLU, and many more.