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Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Over 100 House Democrats Urge Mitch McConnell and the Senate to Pass H.R. 6 to Protect Dreamers

Apr 23, 2020
Press Release
American Dream and Promise Act puts DACA and TPS recipients on a pathway to citizenship

WASHINGTON—Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro and over 100 House Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to bring H.R 6 to a vote. Over 330,000 DACA recipients and TPS holders are supporting our nation during this crisis by serving as "essential critical infrastructure workers," according to DHS guidance. The Supreme Court could rule today or in the near future on President’s Trump decision to terminate DACA protections. 

“We renew our urgent call for you to bring H.R. 6 for a vote in the Senate upon your return in May,” the Members wrote.“The future of over a million people who have proven their dedication to this nation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and who have shown remarkable resilience in their ability to become productive U.S. citizens hangs in the balance due to inaction.”

\The letter was signed by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Co-author of H.R. 6 Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Co-author of H.R. 6 Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-12), Co-author of H.R. 6 Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10),Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (CA-13), Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-2), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-17), Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-2), Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Congressman J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06), Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-3), Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-3), Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Congressman Darren Soto (FL-9), Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3), Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), ), Congressman Bobby L. Rush (IL-1), Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-2), ), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-1), Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-1), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4), Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Congressman Scott H. Peters (CA-52), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-7), Congressman Al Green (TX-9), Congresswoman Katherine M. Clark (MA-5), Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-16), Congressman Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4), Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2), Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-5), Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Congressman Josh Harder (CA-10), Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2), Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-3), Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21), Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-7), Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-2), Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36), Congresswoman Susan A. Davis (CA-53), Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26), Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Marina Islands-At Large), Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-16), Congressman John Garamendi (CA-3), Congressman Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-8), Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA-6), Congressman David Trone (MC-6), Congresswoman Mike Levin (CA-41), Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-3), Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-33), and Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34).

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell, 

We urge you to convene a vote to consider passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, upon the Senate’s return in May.  Given the importance of this issue and the broad bipartisan support of the bill, the Senate should act quickly to send this legislation to the President’s desk.  Although the Congress is focused every day in leading America’s recovery efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we must concurrently move forward to fulfill this important promise to the approximately 2.6 million individuals who are Americans in every single way except on paper.

On June 4, 2019, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act, which put Dreamers and long-term beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on a pathway to citizenship.  As you may know, the average DACA recipient came to the United States at the age of six, while the average TPS holder has been in the country for 22 years.[1]  Each year, they pay billions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxes and power the U.S. economy through their earnings, contributions, and entrepreneurship.[2]  In fact, deporting Dreamers could reduce economic growth by $280 billion.[3]  As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said, “Ending DACA would be a nightmare for Dreamers. A nightmare for businesses. A nightmare for America’s economy.”[4] Furthermore, these individuals are vital in sustaining our health care system and economy, as our country responds to COVID-19. In fact, over 330,000 DACA recipients[5]and TPS holders[6] are helping to support the nation in this time of crisis by serving in occupations and industry groups that render them "essential critical infrastructure workers" according to DHS guidance.

Collectively, DACA recipients and TPS holders, have nearly 500,000 U.S. citizen children and hundreds of thousands more U.S. citizen parents, spouses, and siblings.[7]  If deported, many individuals would return to countries they never knew and for others forced back to countries suffering from extreme poverty and violence. The administration’s own advisors, from ambassadors to headquarters diplomatic personnel have warned the administration that allowing TPS to end would undermine important national and regional security interests.[8] Senators should have the opportunity to permanently keep these families together and legally end the uncertainty they are enduring and ensure their rightful place in this country.  It is past time that the Senate join the U.S. House of Representatives in standing in solidarity with Dreamers and TPS holders and pass this common-sense legislation.  

We renew our urgent call for you to bring H.R. 6 for a vote in the Senate upon your return in May.  The future of over a million people who have proven their dedication to this nation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and who have shown remarkable resilience in their ability to become productive U.S. citizens hangs in the balance due to inaction.  We can change that and deliver a win for our country.  

# # #

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.

 

[1] FWD.us, ICYMI: More than 500 Bipartisan State and Local Elected Officials Urge Congress to Pass Permanent Protections for TPS Holders, Dreamers, May 8, 2020 https://www.fwd.us/news/icymi-more-than-500-bipartisan-state-and-local-elected-officials-urge-congress-to-pass-permanent-protections-for-tps-holders-dreamers/ (last accessed April 22, 2020).

[2] Democrats of The Committee on Small Business, Nydia M. Velázquez, Ranking Member, Economic Impact of DACA Spotlight on Small Business, February 2018 https://smallbusiness.house.gov/sites/democrats.smallbusiness.house.gov/files/documents/economic%20impact%20of%20daca%20report.pdf(last accessed April 22, 2020).

[3] Id. 

[4] Id. 

[5] Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, A Demographic Profile of DACA Recipients on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Response, April 6, 2020 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2020/04/06/482708/demographic-profile-daca-recipients-frontlines-coronavirus-response/ (last accessed April 22, 2020). 

[6] Nicole Prchal Svajlenka and Tom Jawetz, A Demographic Profile of TPS Holders Providing Essential Services During the Coronavirus Crisis, April 14, 2020 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2020/04/14/483167/demographic-profile-tps-holders-providing-essential-services-coronavirus-crisis/ (last accessed April 22, 2020).

[7] UnidosUs, Beyond the Border: Family Separation in the Trump Era March 2019 http://publications.unidosus.org/bitstream/handle/123456789/1915/unidosus_beyondtheborder_22519.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y (last accessed April 22, 2020).

[8] Minority Staff of the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, Playing Politics with Humanitarian Protections: How Political Aims Trumped U.S. National Security and the Safety of TPS Recipients, November 7, 2019 https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/TPS%20Report%20FINAL.pdf (last accessed April 22, 2020).