WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after co-sponsoring legislation with over 110 Democratic Members of Congress to help protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and immigrants who arrived as children. Currently, there are more than 787,000 DREAMers at potential risk for deportation. Since taking office, President Trump and his administration have failed to clarify their policies towards DACA, oftentimes retracting on their positions. Earlier this month, Sec. Kelly, head of the Department of Homeland Security, met with Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus encouraging Members to put forth a legislative fix for individuals under DACA. Since the meeting, Trump’s administration has suggested that there are no plans to defend DACA in court should Republican Attorney Generals from 10 states go through on their threats calling either for an immediate end to DACA or legal action against it in September. This effectively leaves DREAMers’ status in limbo.
“In 2012, DACA was established and hundreds of thousands of children and young adults were relieved from fear of deportation,” Rep. Grijalva said. “With DACA, our country embraced these young individuals and solidified what they had always felt in their hearts and minds – that they are Americans. Since then, we have seen and felt the positive impact that more than 787,000 DREAMers have had on our country. Yet, under an ineffective and chaotic Trump administration whose overused and only strategy is to pivot back to fear-mongering and attacking immigrants, the status of DREAMers has been left in limbo. It’s cruel to allow Trump to toy with these individuals’ futures. The American Hope Act is the legislative fix that codifies into law the status of DREAMers. It would protect them from deportation, allow them to apply for permanent residency and provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship. DREAMers aren’t collateral damage, DREAMers aren’t political pawns, DREAMers are as American as you and I.”
The American Hope Act of 2017, led by Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is currently co-sponsored by more than 110 Members of Congress including Minority Leader Pelosi, Minority Whip Hoyer, Democratic Caucus Chairman Crowley, and Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
The American Hope Act would:
• Allow DACA beneficiaries and other DREAMers to apply for CPR status.
• Allow those granted CPR status to obtain LPR status (i.e., a “green card”) after 3 years if they stay out of trouble. Time spent with DACA would count toward the required 3 years with CPR status.
• Provide a 5-year path to U.S. citizenship. Time spent in CPR status would count toward the general 5-year period needed for permanent residents to become eligible for U.S. citizenship.
• Allow minors to apply for CPR status through a legal guardian or counsel.
• Improve college affordability for undocumented youth and other immigrants by repealing rules that limit their access to in-state tuition and college loans.
• Treat all DREAMers brought to the United States as young children the same, regardless of educational level, military service, or work history.