House Passes Bill to Provide Pathway to Citizenship for Immigrants

By Shani Saxon Jun 05, 2019

On Tuesday (June 4), the United States House voted in favor of the American Dream and Promise Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants of undocumented and temporary status, The Washington Post reports. This is especially good news for “Dreamers,” immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

Seven Republicans sided with every single Democrat to pass the bill with a 237-187 vote. According to The Post, people began cheering and chanting “Yes we can!” in the chamber when the final votes were tallied. Sista Pat, the national policy and advocacy director for the UndocuBlack Network, took to Twitter to celebrate the victory. “Today was [a] day for celebrating. Thank you for believing the impossible was possible,” she wrote. “Thank you for your trust. If you’re reading this and you feel it, this is for you.”

The proposal would offer more than 2 million Dreamers a chance to gain permanent citizenship after meeting certain requirements. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would have a chance for permanent residency. As The Post reports, Dreamers have been in a “legal limbo” for years due to partisan immigration battles. In 2017, the Trump administration ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that provided deportation protection for Dreamers.

Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) spoke before the House ahead of Tuesday’s vote, describing Dreamers as “young people all across our country who know no other home but the United States,” He continuted, “We can’t allow these young people to continue to live in fear, to be at risk.”

Next, the American Dream and Promise Act moves to the Senate for a vote. “There should be nothing partisan or political about this legislation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly said at a news conference following the vote. “We are proud to pass it, we hope, in a bipartisan way.”