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Support for the Dream and Promise Act of 2019

March 12, 2019

The Human Service Sector Backs the New Immigration Policy that Supports Well-Being

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 12, 2019 – Today, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, a bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants, and would help immigrant families and communities reach their full potential. The organizations that comprise the human service sector are committed to ensuring that all members of our communities have the tools and resources they need to thrive. The National Human Services Assembly (National Assembly) has been an advocate for common sense approaches to immigration policy, such as the Dream Act of 2017, and we now add our support for the Dream and Promise Act of 2019.

Families are frequently negatively affected by immigration policies that undermine the foundations for well-being. Young people are particularly susceptible to policy choices that create uncertainty about their futures. This leads to toxic levels of stress that disrupt physical, cognitive, and emotional development, and generally weaken the structures that support long-term well-being.

In the absence of legislative action, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed young people, many who know no other home than the United States, to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally within our communities. This has reduced these young people’s uncertainty about their futures and promoted their social, emotional, and financial growth. Providing legal status to immigrants who already live within the U.S. makes our society more diverse; enriches social, cultural, and civic life; and boosts the economy.

The Dream and Promise Act would provide a direct pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth and young adults who came to the U.S. as children. For those who qualify, the Act would ensure conditional permanent resident (CPR) status for up to 10 years, protection from deportation, the ability to work legally in the U.S., and the option to travel outside the U.S. To be eligible, participants must have entered the U.S. before the age of 18 and lived continuously in the U.S. for at least four years before the passage of the bill. They also must pass a background check, have no serious criminal record, undergo a medical examination, and pay a fee. Additionally, participants must be currently enrolled in secondary school, have already earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, or prove admittance into an institution of higher learning. Current DACA recipients would automatically receive CPR status.

The new legislation also incorporates language that would allow Dreamers to access federal financial aid. Currently, policies in many states keep Dreamers from accessing higher education. The Dream and Promise Act also would secure permanent residency for people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).

“The National Assembly supports a practical approach to immigration policy that helps all members of our communities thrive,” said Lee Sherman, President and CEO of the National Assembly. “This includes providing a clear pathway to citizenship, as well as the opportunity to access higher education, which fosters everyone’s ability to meaningfully contribute to our communities now and in the future.”

For more information about the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, and other immigration policies impacting the human service sector, contact Brandon Toth at btoth@nassembly.org.

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About National Assembly

National Human Services Assembly (National Assembly) is a Washington, D.C.-based association comprised of some of the largest national nonprofit human service organizations. In aggregate, members and their affiliates collectively touch, or are touched by, nearly every household in America — as consumers, donors or volunteers. National Assembly’s mission is to strengthen human services in the United States through the active involvement and leadership of its members, envisioning a nation that seriously and effectively addresses the human service needs of its citizens. To foster shared learning and collaborative action, National Assembly convenes sector leaders through multiple national collaborations, initiatives, learning events, group purchasing, and more. Leading work of the National Assembly is in the public policy and advocacy arena, the National Reframing Human Services Initiative, and its group purchasing program for nonprofits, PurchasingPoint®.

 

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Media Contact:                                                          Policy Contact:

Michelle Sims                                                              Brandon Toth

msims@nassembly.org                                               btoth@nassembly.org

202-347-2080 ext. 23                                                  202-347-2080 ext. 31