Press Releases

H.R. 6 Author Rep. Roybal-Allard & 100+ More House Democrats Call on Sen. McConnell to Pass H.R. 6 to Protect Dreamers

f t # e
Washington, April 23, 2020 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the lead author of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, has sent a letter with over 100 fellow House Democrats to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling on him to bring H.R. 6 to a vote.  The Dream and Promise Act, which passed the House of Representatives on June 4, 2019 by a bipartisan vote of 237-187, will provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) beneficiaries.  It has been awaiting Senate action since then.

Over 330,000 DACA recipients and TPS holders are assisting all Americans during this crisis by serving as what DHS calls "essential critical infrastructure workers."  With the Supreme Court preparing to rule in the near future on President’s Trump decision to terminate DACA protections, it is imperative for the Senate to take quick action to pass H.R. 6.  You can click here to read more about the bill from Speaker Pelosi’s office, and click here to see a fact sheet from the House Judiciary Committee.

“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 to Senate Leader McConnell. “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 also signed by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), H.R. 6 co-author Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-12), H.R. 6 co-author Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Judiciary Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-13), Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), 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-08), Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), 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-03), Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-03), Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09), Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Congressman Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-02), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-01), Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), 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), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04), Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Congressman Scott H. Peters (CA-52), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Congressman Al Green (TX-09), Congresswoman Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-16), Congressman Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04), Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05), 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-02), Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21), Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07), Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02), Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Congresswoman Susan A. Davis (CA-53), Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26), Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP-AL), Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-16), Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03), Congressman Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-08), Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA-06), Congressman David Trone (MD-06), 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-03), Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12), Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-33), and Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34).

The full text of the letter follows, and can also 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.

[1], ICYMI: More than 500 Bipartisan State and Local Elected Officials Urge Congress to Pass Permanent Protections for TPS Holders, Dreamers, May 8, 2020 (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 (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 (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 (last accessed April 22, 2020).

[7] UnidosUs, Beyond the Border: Family Separation in the Trump Era March 2019 (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 (last accessed April 22, 2020).

f t # e