Since taking office, the Trump administration has worked relentlessly to restrict the U.S. immigration system, limiting immigrants’ abilities to come to the United States and making life more difficult for those already here. In particular, the administration has taken steps to strip protection from deportation and work authorization from several groups of immigrants who have lived in the country for decades—those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
The Dream and Promise Act of 2019, or H.R. 6, offers a pathway to citizenship for these and certain similarly situated immigrants who have spent much of their lives in the United States. Dreamers who are eligible for protection under the bill on average arrived in the United States at the age of 8 and have grown up and built their lives knowing the United States as their home. Immigrants eligible for TPS or DED—programs protecting individuals in the United States whose countries of origin are experiencing ongoing armed conflict, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions—have, on average, lived in the United States since 1997.
Up to 2.5 million immigrants across the country could be eligible for protection under the Dream and Promise Act. Without permanent protections such as those in the Dream and Promise Act, these immigrants’ and their families’ futures in the United States—as well as the fiscal and economic contributions they make—are at risk.
By Nicole Prchal Svajlenka for CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
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