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The House Judiciary Committee is marking up legislation outlining a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and DED holders, all of whom are at risk of deportation pending cancellation of their protections.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation is calling for support for a pathway to citizenship for millions of community members during the markup of the Dream Act of 2019 and the American Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6).

It is long past time that Dreamers, recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and holders of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) have an opportunity for permanent protection. We urge Congress to swiftly pass this legislation without undermining other immigrants, vulnerable populations, or border communities’ safety or access to protection. Now is the time for immediate and compassionate action.

As a faith-based organization, and echoing the call of those most directly impacted by this legislation, FCNL urges committee members to uphold the intended spirit of the legislation during markup by:

Supporting amendments that - - Expand eligibility for permanent immigration relief for applicants and their family members - Institute case-by-case independent or judicial review and discretion for all potentially eligible individuals

Opposing amendments that - - Further restrict the existing eligibility criteria - Pair immigration relief for some populations with enforcement policies that endanger others

As members consider amendments to H.R. 6, we support maintaining the focus on providing a workable pathway to legal status while also supporting restorative justice and equity principles. Immigration policies that automatically lock people out of status undermine justice and family unity, ideals that are integral to our national fabric. Thoughtful discretion is a key component of any justice system and to unilaterally deny someone a second chance is to deny the transformational power of God.

We urge members to reject amendments based on fear, discrimination, or criminalization of entire categories of people and consider ways to boost eligibility and individualized review.

As the judiciary committee considers this legislation, we hope that they will envision a better path forward for our nation; one where all who contribute to and participate in our communities are recognized as full members of them.

Gabriela Viera

Gabriela Viera

Program Assistant, Immigration & Refugee Policy

Gabriela Viera served as the Program Assistant for Immigration and Refugee Policy for 2018-2019.

Hannah Evans

Hannah Graf Evans

Former Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans led FCNL’s lobbying for compassionate immigration and refugee policies, with a particular focus on detention practices, the rights of border communities, and protection of vulnerable communities.