FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2017
As Republican Senators Introduce “Succeed Act,” CWS Reaffirms Support for the Bipartisan, Bicameral Dream Act Of 2017
CWS urges Congress to pass The Dream Act as soon as possible
Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the “Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education, and Defending our nation (SUCCEED) Act,” legislation in response to President Trump’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected nearly 800,000 young people from deportation..
The bill would provide a 15-year pathway to potential citizenship for undocumented individuals who came to the United States before they were 16 years old. This would come in the form of two five-year periods of Conditional Permanent Residency (CPR), followed by five years with a green card before they could apply for U.S. citizenship. Controversially, in order to qualify, individuals would have to waive their rights to due process. The bill would subject them to expedited removal without the ability to go before an immigration judge if they violate any of the conditions of the bill, including failing to enroll in or attend school, maintain employment, or join the military.
“While we welcome Senators Tillis and Lankford’s support for undocumented young people, we are concerned that this bill places unnecessary hurdles in front of our immigrant brothers and sisters,” said the Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS President and CEO. “Dreamers have already waited their whole lives for Congress to fix our broken immigration system. Making them wait an arbitrary 15 years before they can apply for U.S. citizenship serves no real purpose but to prevent them from reuniting with their family members.”
“Most troubling, this bill includes gravely disproportional consequences for young people who take a year off of school or who lose their job and can’t find another within a year — situations with which many young people today are familiar. These scenarios would result in immediate deportation under The SUCCEED Act, without the ability to even have their case heard before an immigration judge. This is unacceptable, and for that reason, CWS does not support this legislation.”
“Rather than supporting The SUCCEED Act, CWS calls on all Members of Congress to enact The DREAM Act of 2017 (S.1615 and H.R. 3440), which has bipartisan support in both the Senate and House of Representatives,” continued Rev. McCullough. ”The DREAM Act must be enacted in its own right and not used as a political football to increase immigration detention, deportation, or border militarization. We pray that legislators remember the common values we all aspire to, which is the most basic of Sunday school lessons: to love our neighbors. CWS stands with dreamers, as we have for sixteen years. For too long, the path to citizenship has been a dream, and we call on Congress to make it a reality.”
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our refugee and immigrant work at GreaterAs1.org.