Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize: NJFON Statement on the Dream & Promise Act

National Justice for Our Neighbors (NJFON) hesitantly welcomes the passage of the Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R. 6) in the House of Representatives, while calling on Congress to pass this bill only as a step forward toward legalization of the undocumented and making the many other long-overdue and necessary changes to our nation’s immigration laws.

It is an established fact that black and brown communities face disproportionately higher rates of arrest, prosecution, and incarceration than their white counterparts. The criminal bars to eligibility for relief in this bill are based on a faulty and biased criminal legal system. This further entrenches the racial inequities in our immigration laws.

We do not want to celebrate relief for some at the expense of others.

NJFON demands an inclusive and bold legalization program that goes beyond the harmful limitations of the Dream and Promise Act.

We reaffirm our wholehearted endorsement of The U.S. Citizenship Act, President Biden’s bold framework for the future of the U.S.  immigration system.

Introduced by Representative Sanchez (D-CA-38) and Senator Menendez (D-NJ.) last month, this legislation proposes a path to citizenship for roughly 11 million people living in the United States. It prioritizes family reunification, restores certain protections for Central American families and children, and strengthens refugee and immigrant integration.

Most importantly, this legislation prioritizes keeping families together without draconian enforcement tradeoffs and without pitting different immigrant groups against each other.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we are working together to send a message that all immigration legislation must not criminalize our immigrant communities or create a system where some are “deserving” and others aren’t,” states NJFON Advocacy Consultant— and Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors Executive Director— Claudia Marchan.  “We must continue to work with legislators to send this collective message to ensure justice for all.”

We call on our members of Congress to meet the urgency and opportunity of this moment with legislation that will honor the efforts of our immigrant communities and reflect our best civic and religious values. Now is the time for bipartisan leadership. Now is a historic opportunity to deliver justice to all of our immigrant communities who have long been denied due process, and to create lasting, structural change to our immigration system.


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Immigration Issues