June 5, 2019
Rep. Pressley’s Statement Following the Passage of The American Dream and Promise Act
WASHINGTON – Today, following Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s (MA-07) vote in favor of H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act, Congresswoman Pressley issued the following statement. Additionally, Congresswoman Pressley introduced an amendment with Congressman Chuy García (IL-04) which would eliminate provisions in H.R. 6 that would expand the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) authority to deny applicants based on perceived conduct rather than actual convictions, and utilize flawed criminal databases that disproportionally impact black and brown communities. The amendment was not included in the final H.R. 6 package.
Today, I proudly stand in solidarity with the Dreamers, the TPS and DED holders, the organizers and advocates, the disrupters and table shakers, who work day in and day out to push for a humane immigration system, a compassionate immigration system, a just immigration system. H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act, represents an important step forward in the fight for permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for more than 2.5 million hardworking people who call this country home. I am grateful to my fellow advocates and activists in the Massachusetts 7th who have worked with me to strengthen this bill and fix our broken immigration system. What we witnessed today on the House floor is the result of a long overdue promise to our immigrant brothers and sisters.
Though H.R. 6 is an important step forward, there’s still more work that needs to be done. Congressman Chuy Garcia and I introduced an amendment that would protect our immigrant communities and Black and Latinx youth from racial profiling by removing all references to presumed gang affiliations and by prohibiting juvenile adjudications from being used to deny applicants of critical protections.
The occupant of the White House’s cruel and xenophobic actions have created an urgent need for Congress to pass comprehensive, compassionate and humane immigration reform. I will continue to work in close partnership with community to fight for our immigrant neighbors. As I looked up at the Dreamers, TPS and DED holders in the House gallery tonight and thought of the advocates who’ve embraced me at organizing meetings in church basements and the young activists I rallied with across our district, I recommitted that I will never stop fighting for your humanity, your dignity, and your safety.
Throughout her public service career, Congresswoman Pressley has remained a staunch advocate for immigrants’ rights. In January, she issued a letter urging the Appropriations conference committee to reject a long-term government funding bill that invested additional taxpayer dollars to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection – two rogue agencies responsible for threatening the dignity and humanity of immigrants. In February, she voted NO on the FY2019 government funding package that gave additional funding to DHS despite the agency’s inhumane family separation and mass detention policies. Additionally, Congresswoman Pressley stood in solidarity with the immigrant community following the Trump Administration’s unlawful declaration of a National Emergency at the southern border.
# # #