Why Dreamers and Others Need Protection Now
Posted March 2019
Without immediate action, millions of people who have legally lived in the U.S. for years risk forced expulsion.
Until now, legislation seeking to provide relief for Dreamers and TPS holders have generally been kept separate. But their situations require urgent action, making a comprehensive legislative solution the best path forward. Dreamers and TPS holders share many common characteristics, including an immediate need for protection.
Who we’re talking about
Dreamers are immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have grown up here, often having only vague memories of the countries where they were born. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders are those who were granted legal status when their countries of origin became patently unsafe because of natural disaster or civil strife. About 80 percent of TPS holders have been living in the U.S. legally for more than a decade, and almost half for at least 20 years.
Without legislation, deportations loom
Both TPS and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which currently protects Dreamers, have been slated for termination by the current administration. Most people in both groups remain temporarily protected while lawsuits against the termination actions wend their way through the courts, but a court decision as soon as late spring could result in some individuals losing status very quickly, with hundreds of thousands of potential deportations over the next two years. Congressional action, like enacting the Dream and Promise Act, is the safest and most efficient solution for protection.
Dreamers and TPS holders have a lot in common, and often overlap. An estimated 30 percent of TPS holders are Dreamers who arrived in the U.S. at an early age, and untold numbers of Dreamers have family members with TPS. The groups also share strong equities that would make loss of status and forced removal particularly cruel, both to themselves and the families, employers, and communities who depend on them for sustenance, friendship, and support. Perhaps a quarter of Dreamers have U.S. citizen children, and another 270,000 U.S. citizens are the children of TPS holders who are at risk of losing their status.
Legislation must pass quickly
Once Americans realize who we are talking about, very few want either group to be forced to leave the U.S. The obvious solution is combination bipartisan legislation—similar to the separate bills that garnered hundreds of cosponsors in the last Congress—that would allow TPS holders and Dreamers to remain here legally and permanently, with a reasonable pathway to eventual U.S. citizenship. This legislation enjoys broad support from business, religious groups, unions, and the general public—and even more intense support from those who know, work with, or love those in danger of losing status. These bills should be combined and enacted together. You can help.
Call your Representatives in Congress
Tell them to co-sponsor and vote Yes on The Dream and Promise Act of 2019