Rep. Lofgren and Judiciary Committee Vote to Protect Dreamers, Offer Opportunity to Obtain Lawful Permanent Residence
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif) and the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass the Dream Act of 2019, legislation that protects "Dreamers"—many of whom are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children—from deportation. The bill would also offer Dreamers who are eligible an opportunity to obtain lawful permanent residence if they meet certain requirements. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, Rep. Lofgren was instrumental in ensuring the votes necessary to move the Dream Act out of Committee.
Having passed the Judiciary Committee, the Dream Act will now move to the floor for a vote by the full House of Representatives. Many Dreamers were brought to the United States at a very young age and have little memory, if any, of the nation they were born in. They grew up in this country, speak English, and consider themselves Americans. But as Dreamers approach adulthood, many learn of their status for the first time and are forced to deal with the consequences of being undocumented. That may include being unable to work legally, obtain a driver’s license in most states, or travel abroad.
The Dream Act would alleviate this problem by protecting Dreamers from deportation and provide those who have passed a criminal background check, demonstrate good moral behavior, and meet various educational or work requirements, an opportunity to obtain lawful permanent residence. When old enough, Dreamers work, pay U.S. taxes, and if given the ability to stay, would be empowered to pursue better earning jobs. As a result, the Center for American Progress estimates that passing the Dream Act or similar legislation would add at least $22.7 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product every year, including $6 billion in California alone.
Rep. Lofgren has served as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship since 2007; and has long fought to ensure that the United States remains a beacon of freedom and hope for all people across the world. She is the granddaughter of immigrants and has taught immigration law at the Santa Clara School of Law.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her thirteenth term in Congress representing most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. Congresswoman Lofgren is the Chair of the Committee on House Administration, is the elected Chair of the 46-member California Democratic Congressional Delegation and serves as the Chair of the House Judiciary Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee.