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Clarke to introduce Dream, Promise Act

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Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus’s (CBC) Immigration Task Force, has said she will join Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (California) and Nydia M. Velázquez (New York) in introducing the Dream and Promise Act (HR 6) next week.

Clarke, who represents the Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life that the bill will include a path to citizenship for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, as well as for people covered by Temporary Protected Status (TPS), such as over 50,000 Haitian nationals, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).

The bill builds upon last Congress’s DREAM Act, American Promise Act and Clarke’s ASPIRE TPS Act.

Clarke said the bill will be re-introduced on March 12, with new language.

According to Roll Call, a publication on Capitol Hill, advocates are also likely to attend the bill’s rollout, “as they’ve done for the introduction of House Democrats’ other top priority bills this Congress.”

“The reintroduction of the Dream Act has taken longer than other measures simply reintroduced from the previous Congress because it will include changes from prior versions,” it said.

Among those changes are the inclusion of protections for TPS and DED recipients. The TPS and DED programs have protected undocumented refugees from deportation.

“Trump tried to terminate TPS for individuals from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador, but a federal court ruling has blocked him from doing so,” Roll Call said. DED protections for individuals from Liberia are scheduled to expire March 31.

“TPS and DED protections are included because President Trump’s cruel and reckless actions have increased the urgency to address these issues and protect these individuals in our communities,” Roybal-Allard’s office said.

The 2017 version of the Dream Act was bipartisan, but it is unclear if any Republicans will sign on to the 2019 version, according to Roll Call.

It said two of the six of the Republican co-sponsors on the 2017 bill — Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Joe L. Barton of Texas — have retired and the other four — Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, and Jeff Denham and David Valadao of California — lost their re-election bids last fall.

Updated 2:49 pm, March 11, 2019
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