Bills to Provide Residency to DACA and TPS Holders Advance in the House

On May 22, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee voted to send legislation to the House floor that would provide a path to legal status for individuals with legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs.

A recent study finds that about 700 immigrants in Maine’s 1st District alone would be able to gain residency under these bills.*  It estimates that they currently contribute over $5 million in  federal and state tax payments, and have over $14 million in spending power annually.

H.R. 2820, The Dream Act of 2019, would provide a path to permanent residency, following an application process including background and security checks, for immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, including those who currently have DACA.*

H.R. 2821,  The American Promise Act of 2019, would allow most individuals who currently have TPS, after successful completion of background and security checks, to become permanent residents.*

These two bills together would benefit approximately 1 million individuals with DACA and TPS currently, who have only federal court injunctions standing between them and the loss of their permission to stay and work in the U.S. legally following the administration’s decision to rescind DACA and to terminate TPS.  The bills would also allow an estimated 1 million more immigrant young immigrant adults who came here as children  and are already part of our communities to apply for permanent residency.

The bills would also benefit U.S. employers and the economy.   The eligible individuals are already members of our communities, holding jobs, paying taxes, making payments on cars and homes.   By providing permanency to these individuals, Congress will ensure that they can remain part of our workforce and economy.  That is why business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and CEOs of some of the nation’s largest companies are solidly in support of providing them with a path to permanent residency.

MeBIC applauds the House for moving these bills forward.   It’s high time for Congress to get this done.   Contact MeBIC if you’d like to reach out to Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge their support.

* H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which would provide permanency for DACA and TPS holders in a single bill, informs the study.  H.R. 2820 and H.R. 2821 taken together comprise the whole of H.R. 6, but for procedural reasons H.R. 6 was split into two for consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.   H.R. 6 is the bill that will advance to the House floor.  The study did not capture data for Maine’s District 2.