The AAMC joined 37 higher education organizations on a March 20 letter led by the American Council on Education to House leadership in support of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6). The letter notes that the bill “would allow some undocumented young people, who have already invested in our country and in whom the country has already invested, to earn lawful permanent residence in the United States and a path to citizenship,” and urges “the House to pass this legislation as soon as possible.” At press time, the legislation had 214 Democrat co-sponsors.
Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) March 12 introduced the measure, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) assigned it a priority bill number for the 116th Congress. H.R. 6 is the latest version of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act introduced in several previous Congresses. In addition to providing a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, H.R. 6 also includes protections and a path to citizenship for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) beneficiaries, which was the subject of a March 6 House Judiciary hearing [see Washington Highlights, March 8].
In 2017, President Trump announced his decision to rescind the DACA executive action implemented under the Obama Administration [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 8, 2017]. While Congress has failed to pass legislation addressing this issue, federal courts have prevented rescission of the DACA program for current recipients [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 16, 2018].