Democrats reintroduce American Dream & Promise Act. Image Source: IANS News

Washington, March 5 : House Democrats have reintroduced the American Dream and Promise Act, which will enable US-raised immigrant youth known as "Dreamers" to earn lawful permanent residence and citizenship, according to an official statement.

The announcement of reintroducing the bill, co-authored by Democrat Representatives Nydia Velazquez (New York-07) and Yvette D. Clarke (New York-09), was made on Wednesday by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (California-40), the statement issued by Roybal-Allard's office said.

In addition to Dreamers, the Act also includes protections and a path to citizenship for 2.5 million people, including those given Temporary Protected Status (TPS), some who came to the US as early as the 1990s.

It also would apply to those granted a Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED), which allows people to remain in the US beyond their initial authorisation due to conditions in their home country.

In her announcement, Roybal-Allard said the reintroduction comes "as we continue our work to pass long-overdue legislation to reform our nation's immigration system".

Besides acknowledging Velazquez and Clarke "for their tireless efforts to protect the rights of our immigrant communities", the California lawmaker also thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for making the bill "one of the top 10 priorities for our Democratic Caucus in the 117th Congress".

"During the years of the (former President Donald) Trump Administration, the vicious targeting of our most vulnerable immigrant communities cultivated a climate of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear.

"Dreamers were brought to this country as children. Many are unaware that they are undocumented until they apply for college, and many more have felt the need to keep their status a secret out of fear of deportation.

"That's why I am grateful that President (Joe) Biden has made immigration reform a priority and has preserved and fortified the DACA program in the US Citizenship Act," Roybal-Allard said in her announcement.

For her part, Velazquez called the last four years under Trump "a dark, uncertain period for the millions of immigrants living in the US", adding that the country "has always been, and will continue to be, a nation of immigrants".

Meanwhile, Clarke noted that in her capacity as "Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Immigration Task Force, it is my passion and my duty to stand up for immigrants".

"The time has come for the values of our nation to be reflected in our immigration policies."

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