RELEASE: TODAY, Dream & TPS Press Conference

***For Immediate Release***
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Contact: Magdalena Cazarez
Communications Director
(402) 504-0074 (cell)

Positive immigration legislation would allow Dreamers and TPS residents to continue contributing to communities

Community leaders and Dreamers tell Congress the time is now to protect immigrant Nebraskans

LINCOLN – Nebraska community leaders including Dreamers and TPS residents voiced resounding support for the U.S. House’s Dream and Promise Act of 2019 and the Senate’s Dream Act of 2019 and Secure Act of 2019 during a press conference held today at the state capitol. Speakers urged Nebraska’s congressional delegation to vote for the bills and provide long-overdue protections for Nebraska’s Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) residents, and people with Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status who contribute so much to communities across the state.

“I value giving back to our community – the place I have been lucky enough to call my home and contribute to for the past 18 years,” said Yovana Aliaga Centon, Lincoln resident and Dreamer. “Like many other DACA recipients, for the past several years, I’ve been living in uncertainty, not knowing whether I will be able to renew my status. The lack of a pathway to citizenship for someone like me makes it difficult to plan and pursue long-term educational and work goals.”

This new positive immigration legislation would create a permanent residency and citizenship application process for Dreamers and TPS and DED residents, the majority of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, building lives, families, and businesses.

“I have had the blessing of living in the good life state for 23 years,” said Jose Palacios, and Lincoln resident with Temporary Protected Status. “With God’s help, many sacrifices, and hard work I have built a life here with my family. But unfortunately, I don’t have stability around my status. I would like to ask our Nebraska members of Congress to please support TPS families like me who work very hard and need a more stable and permanent solution.”

Dozens of statewide civic, business, faith, children’s, civil rights, health care, and other groups also sent a letter to Nebraska’s Congressional delegation urging passage of the legislation that would create stability for Nebraska families and communities:

“As statewide community leaders and institutions, we see every day the critical skills and contributions of Dreamer youth and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) residents in Nebraska communities. These valued friends and community members have lived in Nebraska for decades and contribute to local communities as teachers, health professionals, business owners, agricultural and manufacturing workers, volunteers, coworkers, taxpayers, and parents.” [Full letter available here.]

Versions of the bipartisan Dream Act have been pending in Congress since 2001. The Trump Administration announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program one year ago. Similarly, the Administration announced a sudden end to TPS status for residents from several countries where conflict or other extraordinary circumstances make it impossible to return without jeopardizing their lives.

State-by-state estimates of Dreamer and TPS populations and their tax and economic contributions can be found here.

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