Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, joined over 100 of his House colleagues on Monday in signing a discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 3440, the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill which would grant lawful permanent resident status to undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children. The legislation would fill the void left by the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama era initiative that granted legal status to the more than 800,000 young individuals, commonly referred to as DREAMers, who attended school, joined the workforce, and have contributed to American society in spite of never having legal status here. President Trump announced he would end the DACA program in March of 2018.
Engel, a cosponsor of the Dream Act, believes Congress cannot wait to act on this crucial issue.
“The President’s short-sighted decision to end DACA in 6 months means that for the 800,000 DREAMers who call America home, time is of the essence,” Engel said. “These young men and women, who were brought to this country as children, should not be punished for their parents attempts to give them a better life. Congress needs to stand with our DREAMers in this critical moment, which means we must take up the Dream Act as soon as possible. I signed this discharge petition because we cannot wait till the 11th hour to act. Letting 800,000 people who are facing deportation twist in the wind is cruel and can only serve to hurt us economically. It’s imperative that we take up and pass the Dream Act immediately.”
Please note this press release was originally published on September 29, 2017 by Congressman Engel’s House of Representative’s office and posted to this website no sooner than 72 hours after initial publication.