American Dream and Promise Act (H.R.

Floor Speech

Date: June 6, 2019
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Immigration


Ms. MENG. Madam Speaker, I rise today to celebrate alongside the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and TPS holders on the historic passage of the American Dream and Promise Act. I was proud to join my House colleagues this week in passing H.R. 6--and thereby marking a critical milestone in the long fight to protect those who have known only this country as their home.

For too long, DACA recipients have been left wondering and waiting, not knowing what will happen with their immigration status. It is time we end that. TPS recipients remain living year-by-year--wondering if their TPS status will be extended. It is time we end that. Dreamers and TPS recipients are our neighbors and friends; they contribute to our communities, pay taxes, fight for our country and our freedoms, and live and work toward the American dream.

The Trump Administration's approach to immigration has been cruel, unjust, and vicious. Its decision to dismantle the DACA program and terminate TPS designations for several countries is inhumane and an abandonment of American values and principles. Instead of working toward a future that creates hope and opportunity for Dreamers, and TPS and DED recipients, the Administration has relentlessly sought to further drive them into the shadows and close the door on their dreams and aspirations.

DACA has enabled 800,000 Dreamers who came to the United States as children, through no decision of their own, to get an education, to get jobs, and to meaningfully contribute to the economy of the only country they have ever called home. They have shown incredible potential and achievement. For instance, Jin Park, one of my constituents from Queens, NY, is the first DACA recipient to be awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and he will begin his studies this fall at the University of Oxford in England. Instead of having the usual worries of living and studying abroad, Jin fears he may not be allowed to return to the United States. We need the American Dream and Promise Act for Jin.

Furthermore, with respect to TPS, I think about my constituents, the Nepali community of Queens, who were deeply impacted by the April 2015 massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal and destroyed over half a million homes. Today, we have 400,000 foreign nationals living in the U.S. with TPS, some of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades. And I am proud to have fought in Congress for Nepal's TPS designation and extension. TPS is not a decision that is made lightly, but it is a decision that is made compassionately. We need the American Dream and Promise Act for the Nepali community, and all the other TPS recipients.

Madam Speaker, it is long overdue for Congress to protect these individuals who, for too long, have lived in limbo and in the shadows. I am proud to have voted in for the American Dream and Promise Act which would provide vital and humane protections for Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients. After all, they are integral members of our community, they each have an American story, and they are deeply woven into the fabric of this nation.