H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019
America is a nation of immigrants and was built by courageous men and women who traveled from around the world with the hope of living the American dream. Unfortunately, our immigration system at present is fundamentally broken, and I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This reform must address immigration as a national security issue, an economic issue, and a moral issue.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a program established in 2012 to protect individuals who were brought to the United States as children from being deported. Today, there are over 700,000 individuals who benefit from the program and as many as 1.8 million are estimated to be eligible. These individuals were brought to the United States by their parents and often have had no lives in their countries of origin. Deportation would be devastating and would mean sending these individuals away from the only home they’ve ever known. Despite these realities, the current administration ended the DACA program in September 2017. While current DACA recipients have avoided deportation pending legal challenges, they remain in a state of limbo.
I believe it would be immoral to deport the thousands of DACA recipients who have been raised in this country. They are our neighbors, coworkers, and friends, and they deserve a pathway to citizenship in the country they love. As such, I am proud to be a co-sponsor of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. This bill would provide conditional green cards and work authorizations to immigrants who meet criteria nearly identical to the DACA program. These individuals could earn full permanent residency through work, education, or military service.
Individuals covered by Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) – programs designed to protect immigrants from particularly dangerous parts of the world – face similarly uncertain futures as the current administration has also moved to end both of these programs. For now, the courts have blocked the administration’s attempts pending legal challenges. H.R. 6, which currently sits in the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Education and Labor, would erase this uncertainty by providing TPS and DED individuals with green cards and a similar path to permanent residency as DACA recipients.
I will work my fellow Members of Congress to advance the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 while simultaneously pushing for the broader immigration reform that we so desperately need.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program was established in 1990 as a way to offer visas to individuals from countries underrepresented in the U.S. population. This program is highly competitive, attracting nearly 15 million applications in some years.
All applicants to the program must meet or exceed baseline education or professional experience levels to be considered. This means the equivalent of a high school diploma or two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training. Moreover, the entries chosen in the lottery do not automatically receive a visa. Rather, those selected become eligible to apply for a visa. This application process involves extensive vetting by numerous government agencies to root out any potential security threats.
I recognize that there are areas for improvement in the current Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, such as a renewed focus on matching the skills of those who immigrate to the needs of our economy. However, I also feel that the program is a valuable tool for those who seek to legally immigrate to the United States and share in the American dream. While I do not believe that eliminating the program is the best course of action, I will keep in mind potential improvements to the program.
More on Immigration
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to demand answers on the Administration's inhumane and unlawful treatment of migrants in detention.
Slotkin also announced she will travel with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to visit the Southern border this Friday, July 19, to inspect the facilities in person.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) introduced the Short-Term Detention Standards Act today, a bill that requires the Administration by law to provide the full range of basic necessities to migrants in short-term custody, including access to bathroom and shower facilities, water, appropriate nutrition, hygiene, personal grooming items, and sanitation needs.
DETROIT -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) today visited and toured ports of entry and facilities along Michigan’s border with Canada and met with Customs and Border Protection officers as part of her oversight role as a member of the Homeland Security Committee.
HOLLY, MI -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) today released the following statement on continued reports of squalid conditions for migrant detainees, including children, at the southern border, as well as reports of inappropriate behavior on the part of some Customs and Border Patrol agents:
“The images in the media from the southern border confirm what we already know: that large numbers of people are coming over the border and migrant families are being held in shameful, inhumane conditions,” Slotkin said.