Underwood-Backed American Dream and Promise Act Passes the House

March 19, 2021
Press Release
Historic legislation to reform America’s immigration system and secure a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

WASHINGTON— This week, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the passage of the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) in the House of Representatives. The American Dream and Promise Act provides relief to our nation’s Dreamers, as well as to many Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders. The bill also includes protections for “documented Dreamers”—people who came to the U.S. legally as children with parents on certain long-term visas but have no path to citizenship as adults—including Plainfield resident Dip Patel, founder of Improve the Dream, an advocacy organization for documented Dreamers. 

“In communities across northern Illinois, immigrants who would be protected by this legislation own small businesses, teach our children, feed our families, care for our sick, and contribute millions of dollars to our local economy. Many are heroically serving on the frontlines of this pandemic as our doctors, nurses, and essential workers,” said Underwood. “I am proud to join my colleagues in passing the American Dream and Promise Act to ensure our immigrant neighbors can continue to pursue their American dream as they strengthen and enrich our nation.” 

The American Dream and Promise Act would establish a path to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for Dreamers and for certain individuals who either hold or are eligible for TPS or DED. The majority of these individuals have been in the United States for much of their lives, often with work authorization and temporary protections against deportation. Five years after attaining full LPR status, individuals are then eligible to apply for citizenship, a path that is supported by nearly 75 percent of the American public. H.R. 6 promotes justice and fairness for our nation’s Dreamers, and for the TPS and DED holders who fled ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary conditions to come to this country and who have been contributing to our economy and our communities for years and are employed at high rates in industries that often struggle to find sufficient U.S. workers. 

"Many Americans are not aware that it is possible for an immigrant child to grow up in the United States with legal status, but still have no clear path to citizenship. For the first time, the Dream & Promise Act will allow children who grew up in the United States with a documented status to achieve the American Dream. Over 200,000 documented Dreamers, who previously were not addressed by this legislation, now have hope. As the son of hard-working immigrant parents who have been here for over 16 years, the Dream & Promise Act provides hope of finally being recognized for something I have long felt: an American. Our inclusion means so much to me and thousands of others who are looking forward to being recognized as Americans. I am grateful for Congresswoman Underwood’s strong support for including documented Dreamers like me in the Dream & Promise Act,” said Dip Patel, founder of Improve the Dream.