Congress members Brenda Lawrence, Debbie Dingell and Andy Levin, and immigrant community leaders Yesenia Baldivia-Zarate and Sergio Martinez were among those gathered at Clark Park in Detroit today advocating for a clean DREAM and Promise Act.
Introduced in March, H.R. 6, the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019, is meant to provide a pathway to legal status and citizenship for immigrants who came to the United States as children (also known as Dreamers). Dreamers received a temporary work permit known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“When I first received DACA, it meant I had the opportunity to come out of the shadows and no longer live in fear,” DACA recipient and inspiring entrepreneur Sergio Martinez said. “But this is not a permanent solution for myself or anyone around me considering we still have to worry about family separation.”
This resolution also provides a solution to families who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These families have lived in America for years with a temporary work permit approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Now, their future is uncertain because the Trump Administration’s decision to end these programs despite decades of success.
DACA recipient Yesenia Baldivia-Zarate, whose parents and aunt have been deported, is calling on Congress to pass a clean DREAM and Promise Act in order to spare other families the trauma her family has gone through.
“Families with TPS trusted America’s immigration agencies, they renewed their work permits every two years and our country has failed them by canceling TPS and DACA.” said Baldivia-Zarate. “We cannot accept putting other immigrant families at risk of deportation and we cannot allow one more penny to be spent on separating children from their parents.”
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said a clean DREAM and promise act would give permanent protection from deportation.
“Our country’s immigrant community is interwoven into the fabric of our nation’s economy. In Michigan, Dreamers, TPS and DED holders contribute to our communities as teachers, students, medical professionals, first responders, entrepreneurs and taxpayers,” stated Congresswoman Lawrence. “We must continue to move forward with the DREAM and Promise Act because the consequences of inaction are too significant.”
As the future of DACA students and TPS families is uncertain, the communities impacted are calling for a clean DREAM and Promise Act. Advocates are urging Congress to pass the resolution as written without making unnecessary changes, such as: increasing funding for deportation that separate families and endangering family unity visas or civil rights at the United States’ borders.
“We need to fix our broken immigration system. Not only for our economy, but for the young DREAMers who have worked hard and only know this as home,” Congresswoman Debbie Dingell said. “DACA and the TPS protections are important, and we made a promise to these young people who have become Americans in so many ways. I stand with Michigan United to provide a path forward to citizenship for those willing to work hard.”
During his speech, Congressman Andy Levin said President Trump undermined the programs put in place to protect DACA recipients, eliminating any clarity about their future in America.
“We have a moral and practical imperative to provide a legislative solution that treats the hundreds of thousands of affected people with fairness and humanity,” said Congressman Levin. “That solution is the Dream and Promise Act.”