On March 18, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 on a vote of 228 to 197. Nine Republicans joined all Democrat members in support of the bill. If enacted, the bill will provide permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The bill covers only individuals who were already in the United States at the beginning of the year and would not apply to migrants who entered the country after January 1, 2021. The bill “eliminates the ambiguity in their lives and recognizes the talents and indispensable contributions Dreamers make to our country,” US Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), a primary sponsor, said on the House floor.
Association of American Universities (AAU) President Barbara R. Snyder said in a statement, “Many of these young undocumented immigrants are students, scholars, and scientists at America’s leading research universities, and they make invaluable contributions to science, our economy, our national security, and our communities...These bright young people – who are American in every way – deserve the kind of certainty that only legislation can provide.”The AAU and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and 50 other higher education organizations to send a letter to Senate leadership in support of S.264, the Dream Act, another approach to protecting DACA enrollees.
The H.R. 6 bill is now awaiting consideration in the US Senate.