Passage of Immigration Bills in the House a Win, Senate Must Make Dreams A Reality

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2021—The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) welcomes passage of the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) and Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Following are statements from CLASP’s executive director, Olivia Golden, and research assistant, Vanessa Meraz, who is a DACA recipient.

Olivia Golden, executive director, CLASP

After a difficult, emotionally and financially draining year, our country is desperate for policy changes that provide long-term solutions for people and families and move our country forward. The Dream and Promise Act, Farm Workforce Modernization Act, and related bills are exactly the type of positive, inclusive, and welcoming reform we need. It’s immoral and unconscionable to deny immigrants mobility and security when they give so much to this country.

A quarter of all children in the United States have immigrant parents, and more than 5 million children have at least one parent who is undocumented. We as a country need to ensure these children are able to achieve their full potential. Many parents are raising our nation’s future leaders while having to worry about being permanently separated from their families by deportation. One thing we can do to right this wrong and recognize their contributions is to create a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans.

The two bills passed in the House today are major steps forward, but only if they clear the Senate and become law. This spring, the U.S. Senate has a golden opportunity to turn these “dreams” into law and must move forward immediately.

Vanessa Meraz, research assistant, CLASP

As a Dreamer, I live in limbo between privilege and panic. I am lucky to benefit from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but my life is one of constant unease. I struggled throughout my undergraduate education, never knowing with certainty if I would be able to afford to graduate, lacking federal and state financial aid. Every day, I worry that one minor traffic stop could tear my family apart, taking my parents away from me and my siblings.

As I look to my future—attending law school this fall, eventually buying a home and having children of my own—I dream that the fear I feel as a DACA recipient today will be gone, replaced with a green card and full citizenship because of the Dream and Promise Act.

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The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions for people with low incomes. CLASP’s solutions directly address the barriers people face because of their race, ethnicity, and immigration status.