LatinoJustice Statement on the American Dream and Promise Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2021
Statement by LatinoJustice PRLDEF on the American Dream and Promise Act
Passage of Bill a Good Step Forward but Still Excludes Many
On March 18, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth, known as “Dreamers,” as well as individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice, issued the following statement:
"The passage of the American Dream and Promise Act honors the efforts of all the organizers, students, abuelas and compadres who have spent decades demanding the right to live without fear of deportation. Their voices have been heard. We acknowledge them just as we acknowledge the sacrifices of our brethren still stooped in American fields, hungering for safety and dignity.
However, this bill excludes individuals based on their criminal history. Congress ignored centuries of criminalization aimed at the very communities it now encourages to dream and rejected the opportunity to welcome and support the individuals cast into shadows by previous administrations. LatinoJustice PRLDEF urges Congress, and the entire Latinx community, to reject the narrative that anyone with a criminal record is less than worthy, deserving of deportation, and unfit to pursue American citizenship. That would be a dream, and a reality, deserving of celebration.
We demand that the American Dream and Promise act be passed without any criminal bars."
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more than 40 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout New York and beyond. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit www.latinojustice.org.