Things That Matter

House Democrats Pass The DREAM Act And Millions Of Lives Could Change Forever

Undocumented immigrants. Children of undocumented immigrants. People in the US with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) fleeing violence or war in their countries. Everyone is celebrating the huge milestone made in the House of Representatives yesterday, as the chamber passed the DREAM Act.

The House of Representatives passed a bill that prevents immigrants who came to the U.S. as young children from being deported and gives them permanent residency along with a path to citizenship.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 237-187.

Credit: @CBSNews / Twitter

With a handful of Republican votes, House Democrats passed the latest version of the DREAM Act, an ambitious expansion of a nearly two-decades-long legislative effort that would place millions of young undocumented immigrants and immigrants with temporary status on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

The Democratic-led chamber approved the sweeping immigration bill, dubbed the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019, by a vote of 237 to 187.

Seven Republicans in the House joined 230 Democrats in voting for the bill. No Democrats voted against the measure.

Although it’s unlikely to be brought to a vote in the Senate, and Trump has already issued a veto threat, people couldn’t help but celebrate the achievement.

With the changes to this bill, entire communities would face new, more certain futures.

Credit: @UNITEDWEDREAM / Twitter

The proposal would grant young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, including those shielded from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an opportunity to acquire permanent lawful status if they meet certain requirements. The bill would also allow hundreds of thousands of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients — as well as Liberian immigrants covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) — to gain permanent residency.

Many Latino and Latina politicians took to Twitter to share their excitement and pride.

AOC herself reminded everyone that moments like these make all the drama, fighting, and campaigning worth it.

Rep. Ilhan Omar shared her own story and how much this bill means to her.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

Rep. Omar, who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administrations approach to immigration, said the fight wasn’t over yet.

The reactions on the Latino Twitter-sphere were everything.

Credit: @MamiChampangne / Twitter

Some woke up to the news and couldn’t believe what it could mean for their lives.

Many wanted to address their undocumented hermanos right away.

Credit: @zripena / Twitter

Even if this bill doesn’t become law, the community is a familia and will keep fighting until it does.

Many saw this as proof that their parents were right and that they hoped to do their parents proud.

Credit: @AlanRRosales / Twitter

If this bill were to become law, tens of thousands of students would be eligible for tuition assistance and would be able to attend college. They’d be able to help work towards that better life their parents so badly want them to have.

Some were just flat out emotional over the breaking news.

Credit: @orrchards / Twitter

To be placed on a pathway to citizenship under the bill, these young immigrants must earn a college degree or complete two years of a degree program in an institution of higher education or technical school. They would also qualify if they served honorably in the military or have been employed in the U.S. for more than three years.

The proposal would also grant this group of young undocumented immigrant access to federal financial aid for college.

DED and TPS recipients, meanwhile, would be able to obtain permanent residency if they have resided in the U.S. for more than three years before the proposed legislation is enacted and if they do not have any felony convictions or more than one misdemeanor.

Despite the bill’s bleak prospects in the Senate, House Democrats believe the passage of one of their signature legislative issues will convey to the electorate that they continue using their majority to push through meaningful legislation.

“This is a day that glorifies what America is to the world. A place of refuge, a place of safety, a place of opportunity,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said at a press conference before the vote, citing a speech in which Republican President Ronald Reagan said the U.S. is a “better nation” because of immigrants.

“We will send it to the Senate and then we’ll keep on keeping on until it is the law of the land,” Hoyer added.

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