Steering Committee Vote Recommendation on the Dream and Promise Act of 2019

The Presidents' Alliance Steering Committee transmitted a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives containing its vote recommendation, which urges the House to vote for passage of the bill and against negative amendments.

Steering Committee Letter Vote Recommendation on the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, H.R. 6

Text of the Letter:


June 3, 2019

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative:

As the Steering Committee for the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration (Presidents’ Alliance), we write in strong support of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6). H.R. 6 will provide much-needed protection from deportation and create a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 2.5 million Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.[1]

The non-partisan Presidents’ Alliance is comprised of over 430 college and university presidents and chancellors of public and private institutions. Together, our members’ institutions enroll over four million students across 41 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The Presidents’ Alliance is committed to supporting policies that create a welcoming environment for undocumented, immigrant, and international students; and are deeply concerned about how changes in our nation’s immigration policies and practices impact our students and campuses and the communities and states we serve.

We urge that this vote be a bipartisan vote and that the House, in conjunction with the Senate, move forward on a bipartisan basis to provide relief to these populations. From our first letter to the House in January 2018 urging both parties to come together to pass legislation to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and other Dreamers, we fervently believe that this legislation should not be considered a partisan issue—a message reiterated in our subsequent letters.[2]

The U.S. House of Representatives is on the cusp of enacting historic legislation that would provide relief for immigrant youth. The need for immigration relief for these populations is exigent, with protections for over 670,000 DACA recipients and 400,000 TPS and DED holders at risk for expiration in the coming years.[3] Every year, nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate from high school and our nation must provide permanent protection and educational access for these young immigrants.[4] Members may be asked to vote on amendments that would narrow the scope of individuals who would obtain relief under the legislation. For this legislation to succeed, it must protect as many people as possible and we urge you to vote against amendments to the legislation that would shrink the population eligible for relief.

A May 2019 poll reveals that 77 percent of the American public support providing a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers who meet the Dream and Promise Act’s requirements.[5] Passing the Dream and Promise Act is not only sound policy, but responsive to the needs and desires of the American public. This is a critical issue for presidents, chancellors, and campuses across the country. We remain deeply heartened by the expressions of support for Dreamers we hear from members of both parties.  Now, the House must finally take the step to provide permanent protections to our students and longtime residents.

Sincerely,

Presidents' Alliance Steering Committee

[1] Interactive Map: American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) Populations and their Economic Contributions by U.S. Congressional District, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, USC University of Southern California, March 27, 2019, available at https://dornsife.usc.edu/csii/map-dream-and-promise-act/.

[2] See Letter from Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University — Newark, et al. to Paul Ryan, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives et al. (Jan. 11, 2018), available at  https://www.presidentsimmigrationalliance.org/presidents-alliance-urges-congress-to-pass-a-legislative-solution-to-protect-dreamers-2/; Letter from Louis Caldera, Senior Advisor and Co-Chair, Steering Committee, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration et al. to U.S. House of Representatives (March 27, 2019), available at https://www.presidentsimmigrationalliance.org/presidents-alliance-steering-committee-letter-in-support-of-dream-and-promise-act-of-2019/.

[3] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Approximate Active DACA Recipients: As of February 28, 2019 (April 30, 2019), https://www.uscis.gov/tools/reports-studies/immigration-forms-data (filter by “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” category); Temporary Protected Status: Comprehensive Backgrounder, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Jan. 7, 2019, available at https://cliniclegal.org/resources/temporary-protected-status-comprehensive-backgrounder.

[4] Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova, How Many Unauthorized Immigrants Graduate from U.S. High Schools Annually?, Migration Policy Institute, April 24, 2019, available at https://www.presidentsimmigrationalliance.org/migration-policy-institute-fact-sheet-on-number-of-dreamers-graduating-from-high-school/.

[5] Memorandum from Global Strategy Group on Voters nationwide overwhelmingly support citizenship bill for Dreamers to Interested Parties (May 29, 2019), available at https://www.fwd.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FWD.us-Dreamer-Bill-Memo.pdf.