Things That Matter

New Bill May Finally Protect DACA And TPS Beneficiaries For Good

While the Trump Administration is in the middle of figuring out the Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, Democrats are busy working on a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.

The process of figuring out how to solve immigration reform remains one of the most significant problems the government has been facing since the birth of the country. It’s also been a big uphill battle under the Trump Administration, but there is some headway. Some lawmakers on the left are making strides in trying to fix the issue for people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary protected status (TPS)

House Democrats introduced H.R. 6 — a bill that would lead to a path of citizenship for those with DACA and TPS status.

H.R. 6 — also called The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 — would help both those with DACA and TPS status by providing a path to citizenship under “conditional permanent resident (CPR) status” and a “roadmap to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.” This law would benefit “immigrant youth who entered the U.S. before age 18, have four or more years of residency, and graduated from high school (or the equivalent).” Furthermore, the “law provides an opportunity for people who currently have or who may be eligible for TPS or DED who have three or more years of residency to apply for LPR status and, eventually, U.S. citizenship.”

The new bill is very similar to the Dream Act of 2017 in that it removes barriers to in-state tuition and makes it easier for states to provide in-state tuition to immigrant students.

“My experience as a young person of diverse background makes me a strong, passionate and determined U.S. citizen in waiting,” 21-year-old Jessica García, a DACA beneficiary told NBC news. She told the outlet that she considers herself “as American as ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ but with a proud Oaxacan heritage.”

“This is bill is not about dreams, but about realities,” García added, 21 she is hoping this bill is a game changer for her and for the 800,000 undocumented DACA beneficiaries. “I’m asking Congress to pass a permanent solution that would permanently protect people like me.”

Pro-immigrant advocates are urging Congress to pass the bill.

“It is imperative that we support the more than one million Dreamers in the United States, including more than 75,000 LGBTQ young people,” said Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy said in a statement. “The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 will provide a pathway to citizenship for them, permanently protect TPS recipients, and provide a sustainable framework that addresses immigration without allowing this debate to further harm our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Congress must pass this bill and live up to our nation’s human rights obligations.”

Click here for more information on H.R. 6.

READ: The Supreme Court Won’t Hear The DACA Case This Term Letting The Program Continue

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This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Things That Matter

This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Lawyers are working hard to get a deportation order removed against a woman who just left a church sanctuary after three years in the refuge. Although she was previously denied asylum in the U.S., advocates are hoping that under new direction from the Biden administration, her case will be reviewed and she’ll be able to stay with her family in Ohio – where she’s lived for more than twenty years.

A mother of three is back with her family after living three years inside a church.

A mother of three who sought refugee inside an Ohio church from immigration authorities has finally been able to leave three years later. Edith Espinal, who herself is an immigrant rights advocate, had been living at the Columbus Mennonite Church since October 2017 to avoid being deported to Mexico. She’s now out of the church and back with her family following a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who have agreed that she’s not an immediate priority for deportation.

“Finally, I can go home,” Espinal told reporters after meeting with the officials. With tears of relief, she celebrated the small victory in the presence of dozens of supporters who accompanied her to the ICE building.

“But it is not the end of her case. We’re still going to have to fight,” her attorney Lizbeth Mateo said.

ICE has agreed to hold off on her deportation proceedings pending her asylum request.

Espinal was released under an order of supervision, meaning that while she’s not considered an immediate priority for deportation, she must periodically check in with ICE officials to inform them about her whereabouts.

She has lived in Columbus for more than two decades and had previously applied for asylum, citing rising violence in her home state of Michoacán. But she eventually was ordered to leave the country, which is when she sought refuge inside the Columbus, Ohio church.

“We’re going to continue pressing the Biden administration to do the right thing, and try to get rid of that order of deportation against Edith, so she can walk freely like everyone else does without fear,” Mateo said during the press conference.

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The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

Things That Matter

The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

Texas is seeing an unprecedented weather crisis as much of the state is plunged into bitterly cold conditions. But that hasn’t stopped many migrants and refugees from attempting to cross into the U.S. for protection.

Many migrants cross the Rio Grande (or Río Bravo en Mexico) between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Crossing the Rio Grande is always a dangerous undertaking but now, thanks to the freezing weather, it’s an especially perilous journey and it’s claimed the life of another child.

An 8-year-old boy has drowned while crossing the river with his family.

Authorities have reported that an 8-year-old Honduran boy has become the latest victim in a string of drownings at the Rio Grande, between the the U.S. and Mexico. Despite the unprecedented weather, migrants continue to attempt to cross the dangerous river to reach the U.S.

The child was with his family attempting to cross the river when he drowned on Wednesday, just as Texas was gripped by Arctic conditions which have killed more than 30 people and left millions in Mexico and Texas without power, water and food. The boy’s parents and sister apparently made it to the U.S., but were returned to Mexico by U.S. Border Patrol.

According to Mexican immigration officials, the boy “couldn’t withstand the pounding water, which covered him and kept him submerged for several meters”. His body was recovered but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The Rio Grande is notoriously dangerous for people attempting to cross the border.

The journey across the Rio Grande has always been a perilous one, with hundreds of people, many of whom could not swim, having drowned over the years after being caught by the deceptively deep waters and strong current.

Add in the current winter storm currently blanketing the entire state of Texas, has produced significant snow and prolonged freezing temperatures, has made the crossing even more dangerous.

In fact, earlier in the week, the river had claimed another victim. A woman from Venezuela died trying to cross the river in the same area after getting trapped in below-freezing currents. Three others suffered hypothermia: one was treated by the Red Cross in Mexico, while the other two made it the US border.

Drownings are just one of the dangers migrants face.

Apart from the potential for drownings, migrants face a wide range of dangerous while attempting to cross from Mexico into the U.S. In late January, 19 bodies were found shot and burned in a vehicle near the town of Camargo, also across the border from Texas.

There’s also the threat of violence from drug cartels and smugglers, corrupt officials, and other extreme elements, such as heat during the summer.

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