STATEMENT: Nebraskans Celebrate House Passage of Dream & Promise Act

Nebraskans Celebrate House Passage of Dream & Promise Act

Long overdue legislation would provide stability for Nebraska families and communities

Lincoln, NE — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act, which creates a process to apply for residency and citizenship for longtime Dreamer and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) residents. The original Dream Act was first introduced in 2001. Already passed once before by the House of Representatives in the spring of 2019, the bill now needs a vote in the U.S. Senate to provide protections to Nebraska neighbors and family members who are part of the fabric of communities across the state.

Nebraska Dreamer and Advocate, Joseline Reyna, in response:

“This vote today is again full of emotions. I want to be able to stay and thrive with the community that has always believed in me.

“Nebraska is my home. I have my bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I work with a nonprofit in a community I love, and I continue to give back to my community in other ways. But we’re not there yet. I hope the Senate takes action quickly so we can get past living in a constant state of limbo, and I thank all those who continue to fight for inclusive communities.”

Nebraska Dreamer and Advocate, Alejandra Ayotitla, in response:

“We have felt Nebraska’s support for positive legislation like this for so many years — from community leaders across the state to our state legislature. Now it’s time for action by Congress. Not only for us but for our parents and other community members who have been Nebraskans for so long and yet have no way to apply for residency. As a DACA resident, it is very hard to live life in two-year increments, always feeling uncertainty as you try to plan for the future. I am hopeful as this bill moves to the Senate.”

Greater Omaha Chamber President and CEO, David G. Brown, in response:

“Today we feel collective relief with this important step in the right direction for all of our Dreamers – this nation’s many DACA youth. Our support of these individuals – nearly 3,000 of whom reside in Nebraska alone – reflects our ongoing commitment to ensuring equitable opportunities for everyone.”

Nebraska Cattlemen, Vice President of Government Affairs, Ashley Kohls, in response:

“Nebraska Cattlemen have long supported Dreamer Nebraskans and their families, recognizing immigrant communities’ invaluable contributions to Nebraska’s beef industry. We are pleased there is forward movement to protect these important members of our Nebraska community. At the same time, more work needs to be done on permanent immigration reform. Current U.S. immigration laws are outdated, fail the test of common sense, and fail to provide workable infrastructure to support the future growth of our state.”

Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities Program Director, Darcy Tromanhauser, in response:

“For many years, we have seen strong, statewide community support for Nebraska Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status residents, and their families, who have been part of local communities for decades. It’s time for full inclusion of longtime residents who are lights in our families and communities every day, as coworkers, friends, moms, and dads.

“We sincerely thank Congressman Bacon for voting to support stability for Nebraska communities, and now the Senate must take action on the Dream and Promise Act, creating a long-overdue process to apply for residency and citizenship. Our communities gain tremendously from the contributions and talents of Nebraska Dreamers, TPS residents, and their families.”

A map of Dreamer and TPS populations and economic contributions by Congressional district can be found here.

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