Brooklyn Congresswomen Yvette Clarke and Nydia Velazquez are leading the way in national reform for immigrant youth, known as ‘Dreamers.’

Clarke and Velazquez, alongside California Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard, have coauthored H.R.6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which would enable U.S.-raised immigrant youth known as “Dreamers” to earn lawful permanent residence and American citizenship and access to equitable higher education.

The act includes protections and a path to citizenship for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) beneficiaries, giving them permanent residency and allowing them to apply for citizenship after five years.

The legislation would also prevent immediate deportations, establish the right to judicial review and impose penalties on those who use application data for immigration enforcement purposes. 

Clarke said the bill would provide 2.5 million immigrants — who already call America home — with a pathway to citizenship.

“Immigrants greatly contribute to our economy, our community and our culture,” Clarke said. “Reversing the policies of the last four years is not enough. We must reimagine the immigration system in a manner that is humane, just, and fair. The time has come for the values of our nation to be reflected in our immigration policies.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by 134 members of Congress, and comes as momentum continues to build for long-overdue immigration reform, Clarke said. She added that the reintroduction of H.R. 6 was part of the strategy to secure permanent citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and DED beneficiaries, alongside President Joe Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 immigration bill.

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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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