This pair of Senate bills would protect potentially millions of immigrants facing deportation
Senators rolled out a pair of bills this week that would protect immigrants who could face deportation following the Trump administration’s termination of their protections. The Dream Act would grant permanent relief to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and DACA-eligible youth, while the SECURE Act would grant permanent relief to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients.
In total, the bills could place at least 2 million immigrants onto a path to legal status. “Hundreds of thousands of talented young people who have grown up in our country are at risk of deportation to countries they barely remember,” tweeted Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Dream Act co-sponsor. “I’ll continue fighting until the Dream Act becomes the law of the land. This is a matter of simple American fairness and justice.”
House Democrats have combined legislation protecting all three groups into one bill, the Dream and Promise Act. In 2010, the House passed a version of the Dream Act, but it failed by a handful of votes in the Senate. In this current Congress, the House will most assuredly pass the bill when it comes to the floor, but in the Mitch McConnell-controlled Senate, it’s a whole different story, despite overwhelming public opinion.
Advocates are urging the passage of legislation soon. While some DACA and TPS recipients have had their protections kept in place through the courts, DED beneficiaries are facing the loss of their protections within days, on March 31. After that day, they’ll no longer be able to work legally and will become vulnerable to deportation. “Our communities are living in limbo and in crisis,” the UndocuBlack Network said in a statement.
“We need Congress to act with expediency and offer protection to those most vulnerable in our communities,” the group continued. “Many Black immigrants live in mixed-status families that are: Dream eligible, TPS and DED holders. These bills would offer our communities the security they need to thrive and prosper.” Call your senators today at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to support the Dream Act and the SECURE Act.