Leaders of Diverse Faiths Urge Swift Passage of HR 6, “American Dream and Promise Act”

Washington, DC – (June 3, 2019) In May, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to protect more than 2 million immigrants from deportation. The American Dream and Promise Act (HR 6) creates a pathway to citizenship for young people who have grown up in the United States, commonly referred to as “dreamers,” and other long-term U.S. residents who have lived and worked in the U.S. under the TPS and DED programs.

Tonight, the House Rules Committee meets to write a rule for floor consideration of HR 6. Tomorrow, the House will vote on the complete package. Members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition offered the following statements in support (alphabetical order, by organization name):

Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, of Church World Service: “Faith communities around the country welcome the American Dream and Promise Act, as it would provide much-needed relief to our immigrant community members who call the United States home and are Americans in every way––except on paper. We urge Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act without delay.”

Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the USA and Canada: “The Jesus who is key to our faith tradition acted constantly to build communities that welcomed and offered ongoing hope for persons rejected, imprisoned, and silenced by society. Today we also seek actions that provide permanent protections for the many Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients who hope to continue to be vibrant members and leaders in our congregations and communities, as they have been for most of their lives. The Dream and Promise Act offers stability to replace vulnerability, and family unity to replace fractures and fears that will exist until we have policies that allow our immigrant neighbors to pursue education, develop careers, and raise families without constant threats of deportation.”

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, Associate Director, Franciscan Action Network: “Forced deportation of Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients would create another massive family separation crisis. As Franciscans and people of faith, we have a moral responsibility to speak out on behalf of our immigrant sisters and brothers. The Dream Act and the American Promise Act are just what we need to protect migrants, strengthen our economy, and keep families together. Congress should move swiftly toward passage.”

Hannah Graf Evans, lead on immigration policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers): “When the administration canceled their temporary protections, the status of our well-rooted community members was left in limbo. Now more than one million individuals who used legal channels to seek and maintain protection are at renewed risk for detention and deportation. When the American Dream and Promise Act comes to a vote on the House floor this week, it will be Congress’ chance to envision a better path forward through one of the largest legalization efforts in years. FCNL and Quakers across the country are urging Congress to act compassionately for our neighbors and pass this legislation.”

Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious: “LCWR is honored to stand with this nation’s Dreamers and TPS recipients. We invite members of the House to join us in acknowledging the gifts they offer our communities and to reaffirm the values upon which this nation was founded by supporting the passage of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019. It provides a commonsense path to justice for those who have long called the United States home and stability for families, communities, and local economies.”

Jody Rabhan, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy, National Council of Jewish Women: “The National Council of Jewish Women is thrilled to endorse the renewed effort in the House of Representatives to protect those brought to the US as children by their parents as well as those granted temporary status to live in the US. We insist upon an immigration system that affirms the sanctity of family unity and respects the rights and dignity of all.”

Catalina Adorno, Board Member, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice: “As a Dreamer, I know that we cannot wait for protections any longer. Immigrants are under attack from the Trump administration. The House is set to pass legislation which will provide Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients a long overdue pathway to citizenship. The Catholic Sisters and activists of NETWORK Lobby call on all House members to vote yes on this bill and for the Senate to take up and pass it immediately. Immigrants must be fully protected from deportation and have the peace of mind and stability necessary to live free.”

Lawrence E. Couch, Director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd: “They are American in all but a piece of paper. They have plans, hopes and expectations, which are on hold with fears that their dreams will become nightmares. And now they are running out of time. These Dreamers, TPS [Temporary Protected Status] and DED [Deferred Enforced Departure] holders are looking to Congress for a permanent, legislative solution allowing them to remain in the United States and continue living their American dreams. The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd calls on the United States Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship for all Dreamers and TPS and DED holders.”

Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: “The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas wholeheartedly support the Dream and Promise Act—a measure which would bring much-needed support and relief to our immigrant sisters and brothers who already call the United States home. In our eyes, they are already Americans, for they have been our neighbors and in our faith congregations, we have worked together in service of our communities and they are greatly contributing to our society. We strongly urge Congress to swiftly pass HR 6, a clean Dream and Promise Act without any harmful amendments, so that our nation’s Dreamers and TPS recipients no longer have to worry about their families being torn apart by deportation, but instead be recognized in the eyes of the law.”

Sandy Sorensen, Director DC Office, Justice & Local Church Ministries, The United Church of Christ: “It is time to pass the Dream and Promise Act. In fact, it is long overdue. For far too long Dreamers and TPS recipients have been in limbo. They are part of our congregations and communities and we as a country are strengthened by their contributions. Passing this important legislation will uphold family unity and the dignity of each Dreamer, of each TPS recipient. We call on Congress to move forward with alacrity.”

Contact: Lynn Tramonte | media@interfaithimmigration.org | 202-255-0551

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is made up of 52 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, we work to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants.