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house Bill H.R. 2820

Should 'Dreamers' Get Legal Status and a Path to Citizenship?

Argument in favor

DREAMers and those who are in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) rightfully should remain in the U.S. with a path to legal permanent resident status or citizenship.

Abbi's Opinion
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05/23/2019
The dreamers been working and waiting, they are soldiers, cops, EMTs, laborers, teachers and more, they pay taxes, they grew up here, they have lives here, they have children here, make them citizens.
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Bethany's Opinion
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05/23/2019
Of course! Dreamers should have a path to citizenship—many already see themselves as American
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Luvenia's Opinion
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05/23/2019
When Republicans and some Democrats decide to stay out of the business of other countries I will be willing to tighten up in immigration. The people who oppose are as the three monkeys, they see no evil, they hear no evil and they speak no evil against the warmongers they support. They don't care that America started most of the problems these people are fleeing from or that it was American corporations that screw their economy. They just DON'T CARE, period, end of story.
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Argument opposed

Given Republicans’ and President Trump’s opposition to allowing DREAMers and those under TPS and DED to stay in the U.S., it’s impossible for this bill to pass. Rather than wasting time on this bill, Congress should negotiate an immigration solution that can actually pass.

SneakyPete's Opinion
···
05/23/2019
I Don’t Support this Democratic Bill Given Republicans’ and President Trump’s opposition to allowing DREAMers and those under TPS and DED to stay in the U.S., it’s impossible for this bill to pass. Rather than wasting time on this bill, Congress should negotiate an immigration solution that can actually pass. SneakyPete..... 5.22.19
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Poli.Sci's Opinion
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05/23/2019
Dreamers must accept their “home” as a legally binding home. They have failed to abide by these laws already and Dreamers have had many opportunities to apply for citizenship. Most are grown adults and should be responsible for their actions. This bill is nothing more than a piece of legislation to score political points. Shame on the Democrats for supporting this bill and awarding citizenship to those who are unwilling to apply for citizenship. We need more people willing and wanting to be citizens, who show they want to be citizens. The Dreamers have failed on all fronts while mooching off of the United States. Shame on all who support such actions. This world has become a lazy world, where hard work and determination are no longer rewarded with the best of rewards. Dreamers are nothing more than those who stand on the side of the road asking for money. They want handouts instead of going and achieving the hard work to achieve the best of rewards. What a shame.
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James's Opinion
···
05/23/2019
Work for what you get. All most all of them don't ever become citizens.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMay 17th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2820?

This bill — the Dream Act of 2019 — would allow Dreamers and individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to stay in the U.S. with a path toward citizenship. TPS and DED holders would be eligible to apply for green cards (which they’re currently unable to seek) and apply for American citizenship after five years. Dreamers, regardless of whether they’re DACA recipients, would have to first apply for “conditional permanent residency” lasting 10 years.


Title I: Protecting America’s Dreamers

This bill would grant Dreamers conditional permanent resident status for 10 years, and cancel removal proceedings if they:

  • Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. for 4 years preceding the date of the enactment of the bill;
  • Were 17 years old or younger on the initial date of entry into the U.S.;
  • Are not inadmissible on the following grounds: criminal, security and terrorism, smuggling, student visa abuse, ineligibility for citizenship, polygamy, international child abduction, unlawful voting, or former citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation; and have not participated in persecution;
  • Other than a state offense for which an essential element is the person’s immigration status or a minor traffic violation, have not been convicted of: 1) any federal or state offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year, 2) or more federal or state offenses for which the person was convicted on different dates and imprisoned for an aggregate of 90 days or more, or 3) a crime of domestic violence (unless the applicant is a victim themselves of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, child abuse or neglect, elder abuse or neglect, or human trafficking, has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty, or has been a victim of criminal activity);
  • Graduate from high school, obtain a GED or industry recognized credential, or are in a program assisting students in obtaining a high school diploma, GED or equivalent exam, or in an apprenticeship program; and
  • Pass security and law enforcement background checks, pay a reasonable application fee, and register for the Selective Service if required.


In order to gain full lawful permanent resident status (LPR), Dreamers would have to:

  • Acquire a degree from a U.S. institution of higher education; or complete at least two years in good standing in a bachelor’s or higher degree program or in an area career and technical education program at a post-secondary level in the U.S.; or
  • Complete at least two years of military service, and if discharged, received an honorable discharge; or
  • Be employed for periods of time totaling at least three years and at least 75 percent of the time that the person has had employment authorization.

This bill also includes a number of provisions for Dreamers, including:

  • Repealing Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which penalizes states that grant in-state tuition to undocumented students on the basis of residency;
  • Allowing Dreamers to access federal financial aid;
  • Ensuring that individuals with conditional permanent resident status are able to access professional, commercial, and business licenses; and
  • Permitting eligible Dreamers deported from the United States by the Trump Administration to apply for relief from abroad.


Title II: A Path Forward for TPS and DED Recipients

This bill would grant individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) LPR status and cancel removal proceedings if they:

  • Have been in the United States for a period of 3 years before the Act’s enactment; and
  • Were eligible for or had TPS on September 25, 2016 or had DED status as of September 28, 2016.

This bill would amend current TPS law to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide an explanation of a decision to terminate a TPS designation. It’d also require the Secretary to provide a report within three days of publishing a notice of such termination. The report would be required to explain the original designation and any progress made by a country to resolve the issues leading to TPS designation. Additionally, the Homeland Security Secretary would be required to describe the qualitative and quantitative methods used to assess whether or not country conditions have improved, which would include addressing any challenges or shortcomings related to the initial designation.
Finally, this bill would clarify that an immigrant entering the TPS program will be considered as having been inspected and admitted into the United States.


Title III: Additional General Provisions

This bill sets forth a number of provisions protecting Dreamers and individuals with TPS or DED during their application for relief. Those provisions include:

  • Ensuring the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General may not remove a person who appears prima facie eligible for cancellation of removal and conditional permanent residence;
  • Requiring the Secretary to provide a reasonable opportunity to apply for relief to a person subject to removal who requests such an opportunity or who appears prima facie eligible;
  • Providing a fee exemption for individuals under the age of 18, received an income that is less than 150% of the poverty line, are in foster care or lacking familiar support, or who cannot care for themselves due to a serious, chronic disability;
  • Permitting individuals with a pending application an employment authorization document and to apply for advance parole;
  • Permitting the Homeland Security Secretary to waive select inadmissibility bars and crimes of domestic violence for humanitarian purposes, family unity, or if the waiver is otherwise in the public interest;
  • Strengthening administrative and judicial review procedures for individuals denied benefits under this bill;
  • Ensuring the confidentiality of information of applicants and prohibiting DHS from using information provided during the application for immigration enforcement; and
  • Establishing a new grant program to assist nonprofits in screening individuals for eligibility and assisting in their application for relief under this bill.

Impact

Unauthorized immigrants who are eligible for DREAMer status; unauthorized immigrants who are eligible for TPS; unauthorized immigrants who are eligible for DED status; DREAMers; TPS status holders; DED status holders; immigration advocacy nonprofits; DHS; and the DHS Secretary.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2820

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced this bill to serve as the 116th Congress’ version of the Dream Act, a bill which has been introduced in each Congress since 2001 to allow U.S.-raised unauthorized immigrant youth (“Dreamers”) to earn lawful permanent residence and American citizenship:

“As a co-author of the original Dream Act, and as the congresswoman for the district with the nation's largest Dreamer population, it is a privilege to lead today’s introduction of the Dream and Promise Act. I have seen firsthand the love that our Dreamers have for our country.  They are our neighbors and colleagues who help strengthen our communities. They are students, scientists, researchers, and small business owners. Our Dream and Promise Act recognizes the contributions and patriotism of Dreamers, TPS recipients, and DED beneficiaries by helping them stay in America, pursue a path to citizenship, and keep strengthening our great country.  I look forward to fighting for the passage of this pivotal legislation in the House, and making it the law of the land.”


Jessica Garcia, a Dreamer from Rep. Roybal-Allard’s Congressional district, spoke in favor of this bill at a press release upon its announcement:

“I am very proud and grateful to be part of a historic moment in our community's struggle for representation. This moment means hope and a chance to live life without hesitation, fear, and uncertainty.   I want to develop my full potential as an educator and feel like I belong. The promise of permanency in the United States means I am part of something great and I will no longer need to hide.”

In 2018, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised that if Democrats won the House, they’d bring the Dream Act to a floor vote. At a press conference, Rep. Pelosi said, “The American people elected a New Democratic majority that would uphold our values of liberty, justice and opportunity.”

The 2017 version of the Dream Act was bipartisan, but it’s unclear whether any Republicans will sign on to this broader version of it. Two of the six Republican cosponsors on the 2017 bill — former Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Joe Barton (R-TX) — have retired; and the other four — Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) — lost their races in the 2018 midterms.

Versions of the Dream Act have been supported by some in Congress for years, although to date, there hasn’t been sufficient support for it to pass both chambers. In 2007, it was killed by a bipartisan filibuster in the Senate; in 2010 it passed the House but stalled in the Senate; and in 2013, it passed as part of a broader immigration package that passed the Senate, but failed in the House. That led to the Obama administration enacting the controversial DACA program that President Trump has repeatedly tried to kill.

All three of the programs in this bill — DACA, TPS, and DED — have come under attack from President Trump. He revoked DACA in September 2017, has been steadily terminating and failing to renew TPS protections for different countries, and initially ordered DED protections’ termination in 2019 (but extended the program through March 31, 2020 after public backlash). So far, federal courts have blocked Trump’s actions against DACA and TPS and DED’s future remains unclear; however, immigration advocates generally believe that in the absence of Congressional intervention, there’s a “serious danger” that people who’ve been protected from deportation under these programs would be forced to leave the country.

During negotiations over border security funding in early 2019 which resulted in the 35-day partial government shutdown, President Trump floated a temporary DACA funding extension in exchange for money for his border wall. However, Democrats rejected the offer and DACA recipients said they didn’t want their legal status traded for the wall.

Ahead of the vote on this bill, many disparate groups — including FWD.us, the National Retail Federation, Amazon, Walmart, the Koch Brothers, the National Restaurant Association, the University of California (and other colleges) and Google — have lobbied in favor of this bill. When FWD flew 75 DACA, TPS and DED recipients from 10 different states to D.C. meet with Democratic and Republican members of Congress, the organization’s communications director, Peter Boogaard, said, “It’s extraordinarily impactful to lift up the individual stories of the people who are impacted by these policy decisions, particularly the decisions by the Trump administration to put these individuals at risk.”

NumbersUSA is one of the few groups that’s spent money lobbying against this bill. It’s spent $480,000 lobbying this bill in each of the last three years in an attempt to put limits on immigration levels and prevent amnesty measures. The organization has lobbied against any measure that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.


Of NoteThe Trump administration rescinded the DACA program in 2017. Although court injunctions have thus far allowed Dreamers to renew their status, they remain in limbo. This bill would benefit roughly 3.6 million Dreamers, including the 800,000 who’ve been shielded from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) reports that the average TPS recipient has lived in the U.S. for 22 years, with the vast majority of that time spent in lawful status; and the average DREAMer came to the U.S. at age eight.

Data indicates that the immigrants who’d benefit from this bill contribute to the U.S. economy. The USC Dornsife Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration estimates that in total, the immigrants who’d be affected by this bill and their households contribute $17.4 billion in federal taxes and $9.7 billion in state and local taxes and they hold $75.4 billion in spending power. New American Economy adds that in 2017, 93 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants and 94 percent of TPS beneficiaries were employed, and there were approximately 43,000 DACA-eligible entrepreneurs.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / vichinterlang)

AKA

Dream Act of 2019

Official Title

To authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain individuals who are long-term United States residents and entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.

    I Don’t Support this Democratic Bill Given Republicans’ and President Trump’s opposition to allowing DREAMers and those under TPS and DED to stay in the U.S., it’s impossible for this bill to pass. Rather than wasting time on this bill, Congress should negotiate an immigration solution that can actually pass. SneakyPete..... 5.22.19
    Like (8)
    Follow
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    Dreamers must accept their “home” as a legally binding home. They have failed to abide by these laws already and Dreamers have had many opportunities to apply for citizenship. Most are grown adults and should be responsible for their actions. This bill is nothing more than a piece of legislation to score political points. Shame on the Democrats for supporting this bill and awarding citizenship to those who are unwilling to apply for citizenship. We need more people willing and wanting to be citizens, who show they want to be citizens. The Dreamers have failed on all fronts while mooching off of the United States. Shame on all who support such actions. This world has become a lazy world, where hard work and determination are no longer rewarded with the best of rewards. Dreamers are nothing more than those who stand on the side of the road asking for money. They want handouts instead of going and achieving the hard work to achieve the best of rewards. What a shame.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    The dreamers been working and waiting, they are soldiers, cops, EMTs, laborers, teachers and more, they pay taxes, they grew up here, they have lives here, they have children here, make them citizens.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Of course! Dreamers should have a path to citizenship—many already see themselves as American
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    When Republicans and some Democrats decide to stay out of the business of other countries I will be willing to tighten up in immigration. The people who oppose are as the three monkeys, they see no evil, they hear no evil and they speak no evil against the warmongers they support. They don't care that America started most of the problems these people are fleeing from or that it was American corporations that screw their economy. They just DON'T CARE, period, end of story.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    These children have shown great initiative and promise as future citizens of this country! they should be welcomed with open arms.
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    Work for what you get. All most all of them don't ever become citizens.
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    They deserve to stay in their home.
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    Absolutely not! They should already be on the path to citizenship. They have had ample time. If they are not on the path already, then proceed to leave the country.
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    The Dems or Illegal aliens should be allow to have it their way when the illegal are in our Country Illegal breaking our immigration laws. The parents and their children and the whole lot of them should be deported and told to come through the front door "Apply for Citizenship" and get at the back of the line. There are children in the United State also who is paying for the crimes of their parents. I have heard the dems say it isn't right to send the children back to a Country they do not know they only know the USA. Their parent committed a crime. if we Citizens of Americans break the law we go to jail Get SEPARATED from our Children family stand before a judge be judged maybe pay bail maybe pay fines get out maybe go back and forth to court maybe sentenced or put on probation report to a probation officer. GIVE THEM THEIR WALKING PAPER.
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    HELL NO. SEND THE FREELOADING INVADERS BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM! WE OWE THEM NOTHING!
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