I take this opportunity to join with my brother bishop, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in applauding the House of Representatives for passing the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers and TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.
The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 provides critical protection to Dreamers, immigrant youths who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home. The bill offers qualifying young people “permanent resident status on a conditional basis” and a path to full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship. Additionally, H.R. 6 provides lawful permanent resident status for eligible individuals from countries designated for TPS or DED as of 2016 and who have been living in the U.S. for at least three years.
There are many young Dreamers here in our diocesan community. Many of their families have received support and assistance from our parishes and from Catholic Charities. These young people are bright, energetic and eager to pursue their education and training and reach their full potential as contributing members of our communities. They did not enter our nation on their own volition but rather came to the United States as children with their parents.
I am pleased by this recent House action and I urge lawmakers in the U.S. Senate to give this legislation their full consideration.