U.S. Rep. Pressley Delivers Remarks on the Dream and Promise Act on House Floor

Former President Donald Trump tried to end it, the Supreme Court overruled him and now legislation is afoot to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

The Obama-era programs have helped many East Boston residents fulfill their life goals–goals that may have otherwise been unfulfilled if they didn’t have protective status in the US. 

However, one of President Donald Trump’s first orders of business after assuming office was to end TPS, DED and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programs that allow some individuals with unlawful presence to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation. 

On June 18, 2020, SCOTUS ruled that the way the Trump administration ended these programs was arbitrary and not justified, and therefore violated the Administrative Procedure Act. 

Now, there is legislation being considered to create a pathway for citizenship for thousands in the programs. 

Last week, U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who represents Eastie, delivered remarks on the House floor about the legislation. 

“There is more work to be done, but this bill moves us in the right direction of a more just America — one which values the lives of immigrants and not just their labor,” said Pressley about H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act. “The tragic events of this week underscore both our responsibility and the urgency we must move to legislate our values and to stand on the side of justice. I represent the Massachusetts 7th District, which is 40 percent immigrants. I rise today in solidarity with them. H.R. 6 is a critical step towards citizenship for Dreamers, TPS and DED holders.”

Over at the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council, Executive Director Frank Ramirez applauded Pressley as well as the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) for taking the lead. 

“I also want to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi who for a long time considered essential the passage of this bill to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers as well as permanent legal protections for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients,” said Ramirez. “Since President Obama  first signed DACA the EBECC has been involved in a national campaign for the passage of the Dream Act.”

For years EBECC, who helps immigrant families in Eastie with a whole host of issues, has actively targeted the “Dreamers” age group by holding informational sessions, screenings and applications preparations to benefit all eligible youths. 

“We also conducted an open house, doing on the spot screening process in which attorneys, and staff and other trained volunteers were available to review documents and individual cases to determine eligibility for deferred action,” said Ramirez. “We feel heartened and reassured that members of the House will support this sound and prudent, long-overdue answer so that these American families can no longer feel in a limbo suffering uncertainty and obstacles to their dreams.”

Ramirez added, “I agree with Representative Pressley that there is more work to be done and that the bill moves in the right direction in enacting true immigration solutions as it offers critical protections for TPS recipients.”

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