American Dream and Promise Act passes House of Representatives, gives hope for students under DACA

American Dream and Promise Act passes House of Representatives, gives hope for students under DACA

Flowchart summarizing the American Dream and Promise Act

Kaitlan Tseng/Senior Staff

The United States House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act, or HR-6, on Tuesday, which would provide pathways to citizenship for over two million people, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, or DACA, recipients and those with temporary protected status.

The bill, which passed by a margin of 237-187, was sponsored primarily by Californian representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40) and had 232 co-sponsors including Berkeley representative Barbara Lee, D-13. It has received support from the president of the UC system, Janet Napolitano, as well as campus organizations such as the Undocumented Students Program.

“UC is home to thousands of undocumented students who are preparing to be the next generation of standout teachers, medical professionals, engineers, lawyers and other important contributors to our country,” said Napolitano in a press release Tuesday. “It is now time for them to have a path to permanent residence and citizenship through the American Dream and Promise Act.”

According to program director for the campus Undocumented Students Program Liliana Iglesias, if passed, the bill would have major consequences for many students who qualify on campus, including increased job access, more scholarship opportunities and increased study options including study abroad. She added that not all students would qualify and other programs to aid undocumented students would need to continue or be strengthened with the passage of the bill.

Due to the Republican-majority of the Senate and past policy decisions by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, many political analysts have said that they feel that the chances of the bill passing the Senate are slim with the Senate’s current make-up. The executive Office of Management and Budget released a statement Monday voicing opposition to the bill and making its intention of recommending that the president veto the bill clear.

“H.R. 6 would only exacerbate illegal immigration and the exploitation of our immigration laws by incentivizing more illegal behavior while doing nothing to address the problems at our southern border or broader immigration enforcement efforts,” said the statement of administrative policy. “Rather than sending a signal that will invite more people to illegally enter our country, the Administration urges the Congress to focus on real solutions to address the problems within our immigration system.”

According to Iglesias, the number of DACA students enrolled on campus has been decreasing annually in recent years due to the current administration’s restrictions on new applicants for the DACA program. She added that many DACA students have been graduated while less are enrolling.

The bill has not received a hearing date or been assigned to a committee in the Senate as of press time.

Contact Katherine Finman at and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.

The Daily Californian

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