Hispanic Congressmen in search of new hope for Dreamers
A group of Hispanic Congressional Democrats introduced today a new project to protect “dreamers” - or undocumented youth who came to the United States as minors - from the deportation, under the name of the American Hope Act.
This is the fourth proposal of this kind presented this year in Washington, and is the most advanced of those made by the Democrats so far, which complicates the possibility of it moving forward given the Republican majority in both houses of Congress.
The new project would protect young people who entered the United States before December 31, 2016, and would favor those who did so at least four years before the eventual enactment of the law in 2012, which would increase the number of possible benefited up to 1.8 million.
The proposal was presented by Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, who was accompanied by Nancy Pelosi of California, the leader of the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives.
"These young people are as American as you and me," Gutierrez told a news conference from Congress.
The congressman of Puerto Rican origin emphasized that this legislative proposal is the one that counts on a greater support of those presented until now, since “more than a hundred congressmen” have supported it.
Lawmaker Rubén Kihuen, who represents the state of Nevada, stressed that he was once also "undocumented" and this proposal "is a way to regularize legal status and obtain citizenship for young people like me."
With this announcement, Democrats seek to increase the pressure on the government of Donald Trump to ensure the continuity of the DACA program, since although the president has not yet revoked it, he is in limbo and attacked by the hardest sector of the Republican party.
Last June, ten states, led by Texas Attorney General, Republican Ken Paxton, urged the Government to eliminate the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program and threatened to file a lawsuit in the event that it is not canceled before September 5.
Trump has repeatedly said that he wants to "use his heart" to solve the DACA problem, and is assured that it is one of the most difficult issues he faces, but he has not made up his mind about it.
But his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said a few months ago that he could not "promise those who are illegally in the country not to be deported," raising concerns and casting doubt on the future of ‘dreamers’.
The Deferred Action, by which hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths avoided deportation to their countries of origin, was initialed by then-President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012.
It was one of the unilateral measures taken by Obama in the absence of action by Congress to agree on a comprehensive immigration reform that could solve the legal status of the undocumented 11 million people living in the country.
Thanks to that decision, 780,000 young immigrants, who came to the United States with their parents as children and recognize this country as their own, have been able to obtain work and residence permits, a relief to avoid deportation to their countries of birth.