“Passing a solution for Dreamers has been one of my priorities since I came to Congress,” said Rep. Newhouse. “I have met with hundreds of these young people and have seen the contributions they make to our communities in Central Washington. It is the responsibility of the Congress, not the Administration, to make immigration law, and I voted today to provide legal status for the many young people who are our teachers, nurses, firefighters, and members of our military. They are our neighbors and our friends, and they have never truly known a home outside of the United States.
“While I voted to support this legislation because Dreamers deserve legal certainty, the Democrats' strategy for passage is deeply flawed. I have long said that we need a solution that gets 218 House votes, 60 votes in the Senate, and the President’s signature or there is no relief for these young people. The bill that passed the House today won't gain the necessary support in the Senate since it does not address the serious security and humanitarian concerns at our southern border. We need a bipartisan solution that has a chance of being signed into law, and Dreamers should not be used as pawns in the political game being played by House Democratic leadership. These young people will continue to suffer every day Congress fails to reach compromise. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Administration to reform our immigration system, achieve true certainty for Dreamers, and secure our borders.”
H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, provides legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, as well as individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). In order to obtain this status, individuals are required to adhere to strict guidelines, avoid criminal convictions, and pay a fee.
There are over 17,000 DACA recipients in Washington state, with one third of them residing in the 4th Congressional District. Rep. Newhouse represents more DACA recipients than any other Republican Member of Congress. The average Dreamer came to this country at the age of 6 and is now 26. They speak English and are as culturally American as any native-born citizen.
In September 2017, President Trump announced the end of the DACA program and urged Congress to act to give certainty to DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers. He stated, “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents.” President Trump has also said, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”
In the 115th Congress, Rep. Newhouse worked with Members on both sides of the aisle to create legislation that would address border security while providing certainty for DACA recipients, but the bill failed to pass the House of Representatives.