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Rep. Lewis: ‘Still More Work to Do’ for Dreamers and Immigrants

June 18, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) made the following statement following the Supreme Court’s decision in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California that declared the administration’s sudden termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as unlawful. 

“Today’s Supreme Court decision stopping the administration from dismantling DACA affirms what millions of Americans already knew:  The current administration is so determined to wage a hateful campaign against immigrant families and communities that it makes cruel and arbitrary decisions that break the law.

“For several years now, DREAMers and their families have been living with terrible and gnawing uncertainty about their future in this country.  They worry about deportation from their home and separation from families and children.  Along with other immigrant and minority communities, DREAMers also bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic -- without the benefit of assistance provided to other Americans. 

“This morning’s decision may ease some of their anxiety, but there is still more work to do.  DREAMers are American in all but paperwork, and their home is here.  It is up to Congress to finally give them a full measure of relief.

“Congress must immediately protect all those seeking a better life in this country.  Where the administration has failed, we must step up and be headlights, not taillights.  The Senate must adopt H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which the House passed last summer.  This bill provides legal protections and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and for refugees seeking humanitarian refuge.  Congress should pass my bill, the Higher Education Dream Act, to prohibit states like Georgia from discriminating against DREAMers in higher education.  We must also get to work on comprehensive reform that reflects our nation’s commitments to justice, decency, and human rights.

“The United States’ immigration system should lift people up, not push them down.  I will continue to work with my colleagues to push, to pull, and to make a better way.”

Under DACA, roughly 700,000 undocumented people brought to the United States as children are protected from deportation and able to work in the United States.  In September 2017, the administration announced it would end the DACA program. 

Congressman Lewis is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and signed an amicus brief in support of the DACA program in the Supreme Court case decided today.  

The Higher Education Dream Act (H.R. 1298) would prohibit institutions that receive federal funds from refusing to admit, enroll, or grant in-state tuition benefits to qualified students based on their immigration status.  It would also expand federal financial aid opportunities to DREAMers.  Georgia prohibits DREAMers from attending many colleges and universities and from paying in-state tuition rates.

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