H.R. 6 would give millions of undocumented youth and other eligible immigrants under TPS and DED a path toward permanent resident status
On Tuesday, June 4 Democratic-led House of Representatives passed legislation that would eliminate deportation proceedings against certain undocumented immigrants — including youth identified as DREAMers — and grant them permanent residence status for 10 years.
The permanent residence status would apply to eligible individuals who illegally came to the United States as minors — some of whom identify as DREAMers — as well as immigrants under the Temporary Protected Status) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs.
“Today’s historic passage of the Dream and Promise Act is a landmark victory for our DREAMers and TPS Holders,” U.S. Rep Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.) of Fullerton, California said in a statement following the vote. “They deserve the opportunity to live in the country they love and call home without fear of deportation.”
Introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) — who represents the East Los Angeles area — the bill could provide protections to the 628,700 immigrants in California who would be eligible for the bill’s benefits, according to the left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP).
In a press release, CAP said that 2.1 million immigrants in the United States would be eligible for protections laid out in the bill, which would direct the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to cancel removal, or deportation, proceedings.
Those qualified for these protections must have continuously been present in the U.S. and have enrolled or completed certain educational programs. Undocumented immigrants who were eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and are still qualified for renewal would also qualify.
“Dreamers and TPS or DED holders are immigrants who have lived much of their lives in the United States,” the organization noted. “The average TPS recipient has lived here for 22 years, the vast majority of that time in lawful status, while the average Dreamer potentially eligible for protection under the bill came to the United States at age 8,” CAP said, noting that “given their long-term resident in the United States, many of these immigrants have families here.”
The move to maintain protections and benefits for undocumented youth and TPS beneficiaries is a bipartisan effort. The bipartisan research and advocacy firm New American Economy broke down the economic impact of DACA recipients and TPS holders to the U.S.
Among the findings in a recent report include that in 2017, 93% of “DACA-eligible immigrants and 94% of TPS beneficiaries” were employed and pay more than $5 billion in federal income, state and local taxes.
“For years now, DREAMers and the communities that depend on them have been trapped in a terrible limbo, wondering if they’ll be allowed to stay in their homes,” John Feinblatt, president of New American Economy, said in a statement. “It’s long past time for Congress to end this destructive uncertainty and pass the American Dream and Promise Act.”
The bill was passed in the House weeks after President Donald Trump announced plans to gut protections for hundreds of thousands of TPS and DED beneficiaries and put in place a more restrictive, merit-based immigration system, as previously reported in the Asian Journal.
Following the bill’s passage in the House, it will now be referred to the Republican-led Senate. According to the New York-based political research firm Skopos Labs, HR 6 has a 38% chance of being enacted into law.