Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida have introduced the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives, meaning that bills protecting undocumented immigrant youth—commonly known as “Dreamers”—are now in both chambers of Congress.
Like the Senate counterpart introduced last week by Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Reps. Roybal-Allard and Ros-Lehtinen’s legislation would put certain immigrant youth on a path to legalization and eventual citizenship. These immigrant youth were brought to the U.S. by their parents as young children and infants and know only America as their home. However, with the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the air—a 2012 immigration program that allows them to work legally and support their families—they live in ongoing fear of deportation:
“This bipartisan, bicameral DREAM Act is the most progressive yet, and moves the ball forward for protecting DREAMers – individuals who have built their lives here and call no other country their home,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, a co-author of the original DREAM Act in 2001, as well as the co-chair of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform and the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. “Congress cannot allow DREAMers to be targeted. Congress must offer them hope. Congress must pass our DREAM Act. I strongly urge all my House colleagues to co-sponsor this bill, and seize this precious opportunity to protect America’s DREAMers.”
“For far too long,” continued Republican Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, “Dreamers have lived with the fear of deportation and an uncertainty about their future which negatively impacts their ability to succeed. My colleague, Lucille, and I are introducing the House version of the DREAM Act, which is a bipartisan and bicameral bill, in order to keep the best and brightest in our country and improve our shared home. Along with co-sponsoring the BRIDGE Act and RAC Act, I'm committed to a commonsense immigration policy that does not punish those who are working to better themselves and our nation.”
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