SOUTHERN BORDER — Yesterday, legislation was introduced that would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth and their families by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). The bill was co-authored by Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY).
The Dream and Promise Act would protect 2.5 million people under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) — all programs that were terminated by the previous administration, making every undocumented person a priority for deportation. Specifically, it would protect the 1-in-5 Dreamers who live in the southern border region without further militarizing their communities.
However, the bill also comes with unnecessary and harsh “criminal bars,” which leave out community members who have been subjected to the racist criminal justice system. This is of particular concern to southern border communities who are subjected to harsh punitive measures by Border Patrol, who often collaborate with local police.
Vicki B. Gaubeca, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, issued the following statement:
“Over two million lives will hang in the balance when Congress deliberates on the Dream and Promise Act. That number includes students, business owners, community members, loved ones and friends. That includes people who have helped to uplift our nation’s values of hope, commitment and opportunity. We must not leave anyone out, especially those who have suffered enough under the racially-biased criminal justice system. At its core, a Dream and Promise Act moves us away from the myopic and punitive enforcement-only policies surrounding immigration, and towards a modern, human-rights first approach, but only if it is inclusive of all. We urge Congress to improve upon this bill by removing the criminal bars, and instead put forth a bill that includes all of us.”
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN BORDER COMMUNITIES COALITION
The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) brings together organizations from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region.