politics

New Bill May Finally Protect DACA And TPS Beneficiaries For Good

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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

After Denying It, HUD Declares Federal Housing Administration Is No Longer Helping DACA Recipients With Housing Loans

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After Denying It, HUD Declares Federal Housing Administration Is No Longer Helping DACA Recipients With Housing Loans

In a blow to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says young undocumented immigrants will be ineligible for federally backed housing loans. The news comes after months of confusion about the policy for immigrants who were brought here as children. Back in April, Secretary of HUD, Ben Carson denied this at a congressional testimony but a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official said last week DACA recipients are indeed not eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are intended to make homeownership more attainable for those with lower credit scores and incomes.

Credit:@hispaniccaucus/Twitter

“Because DACA does not confer lawful status, DACA recipients remain ineligible for FHA loans,” Len Wolfson, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official, wrote in a letter to California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar last Tuesday. “Determination of citizenship and immigration status is not the responsibility of HUD, and the Department relies on other government agencies for this information.”

The latest declaration is a reversal from HUD’s previous statements to questions about whether FHA is backing mortgages for DACA recipients. The Trump administration has been trying to rescind the Obama era policy but has been blocked by a federal judge from doing so.

“I’m sure we have plenty of DACA recipients who have FHA mortgages,” Carson said at a congressional hearing in April. “I would simply say that I have instructed everyone to follow the laws of the United States with regard to DACA, with regard to anyone who is an immigrant or a potential immigrant to this country, and as long as you continue to follow the laws you will have my approval.

In the letter, Wolfson put the blame on the Obama administration for the policy and its regulations. He references former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s letter from 2012 that DACA “confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship” for recipients.

Even after Carson said that “plenty of DACA recipients” were receiving FHA-backed loans, lenders were being told to do the exact opposite.

Credit:@buzzfeednews/Twitter

According to Buzzfeed News, After Carson denied the notion that DACA recipients weren’t being approved for FHA loans, many reported that they were still being denied help.

“The explanation we received from HUD is inconsistent with the realities on the ground and statements made by Secretary Carson to members of the Appropriations Committee, and it does nothing to clarify the confusion created by the agency’s inconsistent policies,” Aguilar said in a statement to BuzzFeed News last Thursday.

The FHA has never stated that receiving a loan means requiring citizenship or lawful status.

Credit:@senjackyrosen

DACA recipients had previously never faced problems when applying for federally-backed housing assistance. FHA has also never had a clear policy that pertains to DACA recipients. According to the FHA’s single-family housing handbook, a housing guide the agency refers lenders to, notes that an Employment Authorization Document, which DACA recipients possess, is necessary “to substantiate work status” for noncitizens and qualifies them for such loans.

Under the Obama administration, HUD was supporting DACA borrowers under these circumstances. Yet the Trump administration has clearly enforced these guidelines differently.

“We know that DACA recipients have received these loans in the past, and it’s shameful that HUD is allowing the president’s anti-immigrant agenda to dictate housing policy,” Aguilar told Buzzfeed News.

This news comes out as the House Financial Services Committee last Wednesday passed a bill, Homeownership for DREAMers Act, that guarantees DACA recipients have the right to obtain federally backed mortgages.

This means recipients also can not be denied based on their immigration status. The bill is set to go to the House floor for approval, but many believe it’s unlikely the bill will pass the Republican-held Senate or be signed into law by the president.

READ: With Democrats Now In Charge Of The House, What Does That Mean For DACA Moving Forward?

A Group Of Angry Tias And Abuelas Is Doing What The Government Cannot: Helping Undocumented People

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A Group Of Angry Tias And Abuelas Is Doing What The Government Cannot: Helping Undocumented People

Angry Tias And Abuelas / Facebook

All over the country groups and nonprofits are taking it upon themselves to deal with the immigration crisis in a humane way. They are doing what the government cannot: provide help to thousands of undocumented migrants looking for refuge. However, helping people isn’t as easy as one may think. Dr. Scott Warren was just on trial this week for giving undocumented migrants water and food. Thankfully the trial ended in a hung jury, but that goes to show that in this country, people do risk prosecution for giving people the dignity they deserve. That is why the story of these women warms our heart.

A group of women received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for their advocacy of undocumented people.

Facebook/angrytiasandabuelas

The women, who call their organization the Angry Tias and Abuelas, got honored last week for helping undocumented people transition from the moment that government officials release them from detention.

Here’s their mission: To advocate for dignity and justice for individuals and families seeking asylum at our borders. As they embark on their journeys to destinations across the U.S., our aim is to assure their basic health and safety needs are met. We provide emergency assistance such as food, water, clothing, toiletries, logistical support, and cash funds when needed to those recently released from ICE custody at bus depots or shelters in Brownsville and McAllen. We inform asylum seekers of their rights as they await entry across international bridges and give direct financial support to refugee shelters in the RGV and select immigrant shelters in Matamoros and Reynosa.

While the group said the award means everything to them, they are more frustrated with how the government is treating people at the border.

“Yes, we are mad,” she told NBC News. “We’re mad at the brutality of the United States government against the same people who are the same background as our own. These are families seeking safety from repression exactly like our own forefathers.”

The group launched just last year after seeing groups of women and children sleeping outside in torturous heat.

“It was quite a shocking scene,” Joyce Hamilton told CBS News about their first encounter with undocumented people. She said that her friends gathered to do something about it and help any way they could.

“We started talking to each other and meeting, and then enough of us were seeing each other enough times that some of us met for coffee at my house just to talk about coordinating a little bit and we formed the Angry Tias, thinking it would last for a few months,” Jennifer Harbury also said to CBS News. But the issue has not been resolved, and so they’ve continued to work.

Click here if you’d like more information on how you can help the Angry Tias and Abuelas group.

READ: Trial Begins For Scott Warren, The Volunteer Arrested For Giving Undocumented People Water, Saving Lives

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