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House Set to Vote on American Dream and Promise Act

June 03, 2019

College graduate from behind

Vote comes as Supreme Court rejects Trump administration’s request to move swiftly on legal status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

​The House of Representatives is poised to vote on the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday. The vote comes just as the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to fast track a decision on whether to hear a case over the president's 2017 rescission of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

H.R. 6 is the latest version of the Dream Act, which has been introduced in nearly every Congress since 2001. The bill would allow some undocumented young people—many of whom are college students or aspire to postsecondary education—to earn lawful permanent residence in the United States and a path to citizenship. 

ACE and 40 other higher education groups sent a lett​​​​er to the House Monday, expressing “strong support” for H.R. 6. The letter noted that more than 800 college and university presidents wrote to Congress​ in October 2017, requesting lawmakers to pass a permanent legislative solution protecting Dreamers. Similar support has been expressed by hundreds of business and industry leaders, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the general public, the groups said. A June 2018 Gallup survey found that 83 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Republicans, favor or strongly favor allowing Dreamers the chance to become U.S. citizens. 

The legislation also would extend protections to immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who have seen their status terminated and left in uncertain limbo. Many campuses have students and employees who have lived, worked, and studied while under TPS and DED, and ACE supports the inclusion of protections for this population in this legislation.

The vote is expected to be largely along party lines. At this time, 233 House Democrats have co-sponsored the bill, leaving only six in the caucus who have not—Katie Porter (CA), Jared Golden (ME), Collin Peterson (MN), Anthony Brindisi (NY), Kendra Horn (OK), and Joe Cunningham (SC). Currently, there are no Republican co-sponsors. 

Supreme Court turns down White House request to fast-track DACA: Established by President Obama in 2012, DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States at a young age to become eligible for a work permit, a Social Security card, a driver’s license, and deferred deportation. The Trump administration rescinded the policy Sept. 5, 2017, but delayed ending it until March 5, 2018. 

In granting a six-month delay, President Trump asked Congress to pass legislation to provide a permanent solution for those currently protected under DACA. Congress has yet to act, but DACA has been kept alive by court decisions, leaving Dreamers in a political and legal limbo. The administration appealed a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court asking for swift action, which the court today denied. 

For more information on DACA and Dreamers, including a form to contact members of Congress about the bill, see our Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition​ page.

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