Colorado’s freshmen congressman, Joe Neguse, stands for Dreamers
The U.S. House finally passed a bill that would protect Dreamers from deportation. It is unlikely to ever be considered in the Senate, but Colorado’s Rep. Joe Neguse refused to treat the likely doomed American Dream and Promise Act like a statement bill.“What we have lost in the debate today, in my view, is what this bill is all about at its core,” Neguse said addressing a rowdy House floor. “I rise today not just as a member of this body, not just as a proud American, but as a son of immigrants, a son of African refugees. That I am able to stand in this chamber today with all of you is proof that the American Dream is real and I want it to be attainable for generations to come. That is why we must pass HR 6 today. Right now.”
Neguse is a freshmen lawmaker elected to replace Colorado’s now-governor, Jared Polis, in 2018. His optimism that this bill could become law if only men and women were persuaded to do the right thing was refreshing in the face of a stark and depressing reality.
Senate President Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, told FOX News Radio that the bill would probably not be heard even as he expressed care for a vulnerable segment of kids and young adults simply trying to live their lives.
Please, senator, do not hold these young people — who are American in all but documentation — hostage for other immigration reform goals. Of course our system is broken and needs to be reformed, but that is not the fault of these young immigrants.
If McConnell has an iota of empathy in his body, he will have his chamber take up the American Dream and Promise Act, amend what he finds wrong with the bill and grant relief to roughly a million young people who were brought to America as children without proper documentation and now face an uncertain future.
The legislation is a fairly standard version of what Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating for Dreamers for years. But the bill does include deportation protections for those who came to America or were allowed to stay here with “temporary protected status” known as TPS. Trump has rescinded the protections for those with TPS in an about-face that has left families who put down roots, bought homes and started their lives here with uncertainty. It’s heartbreaking. Congress must address it. But if McConnell were to strip it from the bill and send it back to the House, Democrats must support Dreamers without that piece of the legislation.
We’re tired of Dreamers being held hostage in this immigration reform debate. House Democrats and seven Republicans just passed a good bill, now Republicans in the Senate have a chance to do the right thing. The DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001 and the Dreamers who went to Congress pleading for legal status as teens back then are adults today with no more certainty. And now a new generation of Dreamers is pleading not to be held hostage by a broken Congress.
Neguse said it best: “There are young people all across our country who know no other home but the United States. These kids are dedicated and willing to put in the hard work to earn a college education. They are excelling in their careers. They are contributing to our communities in countless ways every day. We cannot allow these young people to continue to live in fear to be at risk every single day of being ripped away from their lives and losing everything that they know.”
Source: Denver Post
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