Members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, Immigrant Youth, TPS, DED Holders, & Allies Introduce New Way Forward on Immigration:
Permanent Protections Without Increasing Deportation Forces
New Jersey – On Thursday, members of the New Jersey congressional delegation, including Congressman Donald Norcross and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, as well as immigrant youth, TPS holders and activists hosted a press call to voice their support the Dream and Promise Act, new legislation introduced Tuesday that would provide permanent protections for undocumented immigrant youth and those under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The Dream + Promise Act is bold, progressive and the most inclusive bill of its kind.
Dreamers and TPS holders — as well as their families and communities — have had their lives thrown into limbo due to the cruel actions of the Trump administration. The Dream and Promise Act recognizes the urgent need to provide permanent protections without using immigrants as bargaining chips to win a host of anti-immigrant provisions. Nearly 2.5 million people nationwide could benefit directly from passage of the Dream and Promise Act.
In New Jersey, approximately 115,000 individuals would benefit directly from the Dream & Promise Act, including 13,900 TPS holders and 101,000 Dreamers who came to this country as children, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective.
“The Dream and Promise Act would give young people like me, and TPS holders and DED holders a pathway to citizenship and full belonging in this country. And it does so without criminalizing our parents or giving more money to ICE officers that tear apart our communities and separate our families. We have to fight for a full pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people. This legislation is an important first step,” said Rey Amaya, Make the Road New Jersey youth leader.
”This bill means everything for me, my family, and every TPS holder across the country. The US is my country, my families country. The things I have accomplished in this country are unimaginable and unreachable back in Honduras. Hurricane Mitch set the Honduran economy back 50 years. I have lived here with TPS status for the last 20 years. With gods help and the TPS status, I have accomplished a bachelors degree, a masters degree, own two homes in New Jersey, and birthed two citizen children in this state. New Jersey is my home. I love this state and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. We count on our congressional representatives support for a clean bill,” said Sonia Yanes, Wind of the Spirit TPS committee leader
“At its core, the Dream and Promise Act is about our values. We are nation built by immigrants and built upon the promise of opportunity and a better life. Dreamers, TPS recipients, and the vast majority of immigrants are striving for the same American dreams that we all cherish, they are contributing to our economy, and this is their home. I’m proud to see Democrats use our control of the House to fight for them, and will continue to be a vocal advocate,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ 12).
“America is a nation of immigrants – diversity is our strength and compassion is our value. DREAMers contribute to our communities as teachers, students, medical professionals, first responders, entrepreneurs and taxpayers. The Administration’s heartless actions have upended the lives of families and created disruptions for businesses across the country. I’m a co-sponsor the Dream and Promise Act because it strengthens our nation and rights the wrong created by President Trump,” said Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01).
“The Trump administration has relentlessly attacked immigrant communities and here in New Jersey we have felt the impact acutely. Tens of thousands of Dreamers, TPS and DED holders who live in New Jersey are now vulnerable to deportation. They are vital members of New Jersey’s workforce, educational systems, and our communities. They are parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, colleagues and friends of United States citizens. Countless New Jersey families would benefit if the Dream and Promise Act passes. It is a key moment for all members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to step up to demand permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship without expanding enforcement,” said Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.
In total, eight members of the New Jersey congressional delegation have joined the bill as co-sponsors. Make the Road New Jersey is planning events during the congressional recess next week to continue to build support for the Dream and Promise Act.