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Urge Congress to provide permanent protections for Dreamers
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided temporary protection from deportation for nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth known as Dreamers over the past 10 years. However, the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA in September 2017 and ongoing lawsuits put Dreamers at immediate risk of removal. The Trump administration also tried to terminate Temporary Protective Status (TPS) – a humanitarian form of immigration status for those who cannot safely return to their home country due to extraordinary circumstances, like armed conflict and environmental disaster—for 98 percent of all holders. While these attempts were unsuccessful, millions of lives are still in limbo as people who call America home constantly face the threat of deportation. It is imperative that Congress acts to provide a permanent, legislative fix. 

Urge your Members of Congress to pass legislation providing permanent protections, including a pathway to citizenship, for Dreamers.

Background

DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, was created in 2012 and has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. In many cases, these youth, known as Dreamers, grew up in the United States and want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home. By ending DACA and its protections, the Trump administration made Dreamers vulnerable to deportation or detention. The Biden administration restored the program in full, but the threat to the program remains; Dreamers still need permanent protections to ensure they can live in the U.S. without fear.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a humanitarian form of immigration status for those who cannot safely return to their home country due to extraordinary circumstances, such as armed conflict and environmental disasters. Countries with TPS include Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Cameroon, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Yemen. Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)provides a similar type of protection as TPS. Currently, Liberia and Hong Kong are the only countries with DED.

On February 9, 2023, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Dream Act of 2023 (S. 365), which would provide permanent protections, including conditional permanent resident (CPR) status, for Dreamers. The bill has yet to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

If enacted, the Dream Act would:

  • Provide conditional permanent resident (CPR) status valid for up to eight years for Dreamers who meet criteria spelled out in the bill. CPR would allow Dreamers to work legally in the U.S. and permit them to travel outside the country.
  • Automatically grant CPR to current DACA recipients.
  • Permit those with CPR to then obtain lawful permanent resident status (LPR, also known as obtaining a green card) if they meet criteria such as attending college, working in the U.S., or serving in the U.S. military.

 

On June 15, 2023, Representative Sylvia Garcia re-introduced the Dream and Promise Act of 2023 (H.R. 16). This bill would provide the same provisions of the Senate’s Dream Act, with the addition of allowing Dreamers the opportunity to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. It would also extend similar protections to TPS and DED holders.

Tell your Members of Congress to pass permanent protections, including a pathway to citizenship, for Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients!

Jewish Values

Hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests, is an important principle in Judaism. We see this modeled by Abraham and Sarah, who opened their tent to three mysterious visitors. This principle compels many Jews today to welcome immigrants and refugees.

For More Information

You can contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Ellen Garfinkle at (202) 387-2800 or egarfinkle@rac.org for more information.

 

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