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AFSC Applauds Introduction of “Dream and Promise Act”

TPS advocats holding "Protect TPS" sign
Photo: Bryan Vana / AFSC

Bill would provide protections for recipients of TPS, DED, and those eligible for DACA

WASHINGTON, DC (March 12, 2019) Today, Rep. Clarke, Rep. Velasquez and Rep. Roybal-Allard introduced H.R. 6, also known as the Dream and Promise Act. The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for immigrant and refugee rights for almost 100 years, welcomes this timely action by Congress.

“This bill is an important step to offering critical protections to our TPS, DED and DACA eligible recipients from the devastating impacts of detention and deportation,” said Peniel Ibe, Policy Associate for AFSC. “This bill acknowledges the vital ties that they have to our communities and comes at a time when these protections are urgently needed.”

AFSC and others across the country have been working hard to try and save TPS for all countries – bringing TPS holders to Washington, DC to meet with elected officials, organizing call-in days, and holding local events. The organization has also advocated for permanent protections for DACA-eligible immigrants and DED holders. “The Dream and Promise Act is a good start to repair our punitive immigration system,” said Gabriel Camacho, Project Voice Coordinator for AFSC’s Cambridge office and member of Massachusetts TPS Committee. “The introduction of this bill is prompted by the extraordinary grassroots organizing and tireless advocacy across the country by immigrant communities, including TPS, DED and DACA beneficiaries and their families and allies.”

“As TPS holders, we have spent half of our lives living in the United States while working, paying taxes and advancing our families forward,” said Elsa Valle, TPS recipient and member leader of AFSC's New Jersey TPS Committee. “The futures of our children are here. Congress must pass a pathway to citizenship for TPS holders and prevent the forced return of our families to countries that we do not know.”

AFSC is carefully analyzing the bill to make sure that it eliminates roadblocks to lawful permanent residency for immigrant communities, expands eligibility for the offered protections, and offers solutions that TPS/DED and DACA eligible beneficiaries can benefit from. AFSC is also watching the bill to ensure that no provisions are added that would attach funding for immigration enforcement and border militarization. “We welcome the move toward more just and humane immigration policies that are not undermined by increased funding to agencies that harm immigrants,” said Kathryn Johnson, Policy Advocacy Coordinator for AFSC. “We are calling on Congress to act immediately and protect our TPS, DED and DACA eligible community members without adding provisions that expand destructive detention and deportation.”

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.