Last week, the “Dream and Promise Act of 2019” was introduced in Congress. This represents Congress’ newest version of the “DREAM Act,” which was first introduced in 2001 to allow Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, to earn lawful permanent residence and American citizenship, if they meet certain requirements.
The “Dream and Promise Act of 2019” is the most comprehensive version yet of the Dream Act, as it unifies protection for Dreamers together with protection also for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status individuals, as well. Over the past year and a half, the administration has ended protections for six TPS populations, and for DED holders, as well. Each of these communities remains deeply vulnerable, unless protections are restored.
As Disciples, our Liberian members, such as those in Whosoever Will Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., have been seeking ongoing protections for persons with DED. Our Haitian brothers and sisters, such as those in our Disciples Haitian congregations in Brooklyn, NY and in Salisbury, Md., have also been providing pastoral care to families facing extreme anxiety until protections are offered. Salvadoran and others from additional populations with TPS are also deeply affected.