Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement on H.R. 6, the American Dream & Promise Act
Washington, D.C. – Today , the U.S. House of Representatives voted 228 to 197 to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. The bill, co-authored by U.S. Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), and Yvette Clarke (NY-09), will provide a pathway to citizenship for U.S.- raised immigrant youth known as “Dreamers,” Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) beneficiaries.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard delivered the following statement:
“I thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi for making H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, one of the top ten Democratic priorities in the 117th Congress. I also thank Rep. Zoe Lofgren and the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for their invaluable hard work on this bill. During the last Congress, a similar version of the Dream Act passed the House with bipartisan support. But unfortunately, the Senate failed to take up the bill. Additionally, I thank Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. for his strong support of H.R. 6 and his leadership as we have worked to pass this bill.
“Today, this House has another opportunity to pass H.R. 6, and end once and for all the fear and uncertainty that has plagued the lives of our nation’s Dreamers, who have become an integral part of the fabric of our American society. According to the Center for American Progress, each year Dreamers contribute over $17.3 billion in federal taxes, nearly $9.7 billion in state and local taxes, and their households have $75 billion in buying power.
“Over the course of this deadly coronavirus pandemic, they have also demonstrated the vital role they play in American society. During this health emergency, an estimated 202,500 DACA recipients have risked their lives to protect the health and safety of Americans. Dreamers are among the essential workers helping to package and stock our food, the teachers of our children, and the doctors, nurses, and caregivers who daily have sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others.
“Yet in-spite of the critical role they play in our society, over 2.1 million Dreamers live in a state of limbo, doubt, and anxiety about being deported to a country most do not know. H.R. 6 eliminates the ambiguity in Dreamers’ lives and recognizes the talents and indispensable contributions they make to our country.
“I have the privilege of representing California’s 40th Congressional District, which is home to 24,000 Dreamers - the largest number in any congressional district. Since I co-authored the original Dream Act twenty years ago, known then as the Student Adjustment Act, I have met many of them and hundreds more from all over the country who have traveled to our nation’s capital to tell their personal stories of hope, fear, exclusion, and heartbreak. While their individual stories may vary, they share the common denominator of embracing and exemplifying American values and love for this country - the only country they call home. They are American in every way, except on paper.
“They are Dreamers like Gabriela Cortes, who was brought here at age two and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree. She says the Dream Act gives her hope because quote, ‘This is the only way I can fully contribute to my country, the only home I know.’ They are Dreamers like Sheila Salinas Navarro, who is a first-year PhD student at USC Leonard School of Gerontology. She says, quote, ‘We need permanent solutions so that folks like me can contribute to this nation. All I ask is an opportunity to do so.’ And they are Dreamers like Marvin Perez, brought to this country at age five and now attending Glendale Community college. He says he wants the opportunity to continue working on becoming a physician. H.R. 6 will give these and all of our Dreamers the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to their communities, and help ensure America remains the strongest and greatest nation in the world.
“The Dream and Promise Act has the support of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, as well as businesses, organized labor, faith groups, educators, health professionals, former Cabinet officials, and the majority of the American public. This unprecedented coalition of support highlights that protecting our Dreamers and providing them with a path to citizenship is not a partisan issue. It is an issue about who we are as Americans and what is in the best interest of our country.
“By passing the Dream and Promise Act, we will live up to our American values of fairness, justice, and compassion. And these incredible young Dreamers, like generations of immigrants before them, can continue to play their vital role in the well-being of our nation.”