People with temporary immigration protection (TPS) and those living in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) should have a path to citizenship, says House Democrats. Such was the impetus for the early March filing of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, introduced by California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and co-authored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Yvette D. Clarke and Nydia M. Valazquez, both representatives from New York.
Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, has been historically awarded to people who come to the U.S. from countries that have been affected by war, ongoing armed conflicts, natural disasters or other extraordinary reason and who seek to stay here until things improve in their mother countries. After the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issues TPS designation for people from a protected country, then applicants must prove that they have been living in the U.S. for a determined amount of time and submit to security and criminal background checks. Renewals of TPS range from six to 18 months.
The recent administration in Washington has sought to discontinue TPS for most recipients and dismantle the program. So far, attempts to end TPS have been blocked in the courts, but the Democratic-led House hopes to find a permanent resolution for TPS recipients with the passage of H.R. 6. Around 620,000 people live in the home with someone that has TPS status, including 448,000 U.S. citizens and 279,000 U.S. citizens age 18 or under. The forced relocation of those with TPS could have a major impact on what amounts to more than around three-quarters of a million people.
H.R. 6, if it becomes law, will also provide protection to the more than 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. as children under DACA. The Democrats hope to allay fears of deportation to the Dreamers, many of whom work and go to school in the United States and have known no other home. Under the legislation, people who were brought to this country at age 17 or under who are working, attending higher education or enlisted in the military would become lawful permanent status. DACA recipients would also gain access to in-state college tuition rates, federal student assistance, and a pathway to becoming U.S. citizens.
Also included in the bill is a path to citizenship for a large population of thousands of Liberians who have been granted what is known as Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). While DED is not an immigration status, it is a type of shield against deportation for a specific population of people.
H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 now lies with the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Education and Labor.
At Familia America Immigration, we understand that your immigration status doesn’t just affect you—it also affects your children, your spouse, your parents and others. If you are facing an immigration issue, give our Salt Lake City immigration attorney a call at 801-656-9605 to discuss your situation and legal options now.