Jun 04, 2019 - 7:00pm

Quick Take: Your Primer on the American Dream and Promise Act

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An attendee holds a "We Are All Dreamers" sign at an event in Las Vegas, NV.
An attendee holds a "We Are All Dreamers" sign at an event in Las Vegas, NV.

Fill me in:

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6). This bill would permanently protect Dreamers – undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children – and long-term beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, which provides temporary protection to individuals from countries experiencing crisis conditions.

Why does it matter?

American businesses across a host of industries are very concerned about the uncertain future facing their employees who are Dreamers or beneficiaries of the TPS program. In addition, many American workers are employed by businesses started by Dreamers or TPS recipients. 

Number to know:

2.5 Million. That’s the estimated number of Dreamers and TPS recipients who will have the opportunity to gain permanent legal status in the United States under H.R. 6. This bill would allow them to continue building their lives and their careers here in the U.S.

Number to know, Part II:

1.5 million. That’s the difference between the 7.3 million job vacancies in the United States and the 5.8 million unemployed individuals looking for work in America. With more vacant jobs than there are workers to fill them, companies across the country are already facing extreme difficulty meeting their workforce needs.

Currently, there are more than a million Dreamers and TPS recipients that are legally authorized to work in the U.S. If Congress fails to act, they could lose their ability to work and be subject to deportation, significantly exacerbating our nation’s workforce challenges and resulting in missed opportunities for increased economic growth.

Our take:

“It has been six long years since either house of Congress passed a bill to protect Dreamers. Much work remains ahead of us, but it is long-past time to permanently address the plight of Dreamers and long-term recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Our communities, businesses, and economy are all made stronger by the many contributions of Dreamers and TPS recipients.

"We commend the members of the House who voted to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and we look forward to working with the Senate as it continues to address the issue of immigration reform. It is critical for both parties in both houses of Congress to come together on a path forward on immigration reform legislation.” – Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer

What’s next?

Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed this legislation, attention turns toward the Senate. It’s time for the U.S. Senate to take up this critical issue. Both parties in both houses of Congress must find a bipartisan path forward on immigration – and not just one this issue. In addition to providing relief to Dreamers and TPS recipients, Congress has other challenges to address, such as improving our nation’s border security efforts and reforming our legal immigration system.

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