AUSTIN, TX – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives took a historic step forward by passing the Dream and Promise Act, vital legislation that would provide an earned pathway to citizenship for more than two million people. This is only the fourth time in more than 30 years that legislation providing permanent protections for undocumented communities has passed even one chamber of Congress. FWD.us Texas State Director Zaira Garcia issued the following statement:
“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Dream and Promise Act, vital legislation that will allow more than 386,000 Texans who have built their lives here over decades to contribute more fully to communities across Texas. Dreamers and TPS holders are deeply ingrained in Texas communities and work in virtually every sector of the state economy, helping to power key industries and employ thousands of native-born Americans. We urge the Senate to immediately take up the Dream and Promise Act and provide hundreds of thousands of Texans – and the millions of Americans who stand with them – the stability and peace of mind they desperately deserve.”
The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R.6) would create an earned path to citizenship for more than two million people who have contributed to American communities for decades, including DACA recipients, DACA-eligible individuals, TPS holders and DED recipients. Nearly 386,300 Texans would qualify for permanent protections under this vital legislation. These individuals live with more than 178,700 U.S.-born citizen children and, on average, have lived in the United States since 1996. (Center for American Progress)
Today’s vote is historically significant, and is only the fourth time in more than 30 years that major immigration legislation that provides permanent protections for immigrant communities has passed even one chamber of Congress.
Available For Comment:
The individuals below are available for comment on the historic passage of the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6):
DACA Recipient: Samuel Cervantes
Immigration Research Associate, FWD.us
Samuel Cervantes is an Immigration Research Associate at FWD.us, a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when more individuals are able to achieve their full potential. Born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas, he is the oldest child in a family of four and the first of his family to attend college. Shaped by his background growing up as the gay son of an undocumented Mexican-American family, Samuel began his career as a political activist at the state level, where he coordinated a campaign to protect in-state tuition for undocumented students and organized against anti-immigrant legislation in Texas with the University Leadership Initiative. Samuel interned at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Texas State Legislature, in addition to completing the Bill Archer Fellowship in Washington, DC, and the Public Policy International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.
DACA Recipient: Diego Corzo (Austin, TX)
Realtor (Keller Williams) & Investor
Diego Corzo moved to the United States when he was 9 years old. He graduated from high school ranked third in his class with a GPA of over 4.0 and an International Baccalaureate Diploma. He earned a bachelor’s dual degree in Information Technology and Management Information Systems from Florida State University, from where he graduated in the top 1% of the entire college class. Fortunately, he graduated without debt due to that fact that he paid his way through school and got scholarships. Prior to earning DACA in 2013, Diego volunteered at local nonprofits to gain work experience. After DACA was announced, he secured a job as a software developer at General Motors and, two years later, switched careers and became a realtor with Keller Williams. Today, Diego has a real estate team and employs an American citizen. His team will be helping more than 75 families buy or sell a home this year. In 2016, Diego paid over $28K in taxes and, as of September 2017, he owns 8 rental properties: a Quadplex, a duplex and 6 homes.
DACA Recipient: Melissa Martinez (Clint, TX)
Student, University of Texas at El Paso
Melissa Martinez is a student at the University of Texas in El Paso studying mathematics and a DACA recipient. She is an active member of the Labor Justice and United Dreamers Committee. Melissa came to the U.S. at 5 years old and has called it home since. Thanks to DACA and the efforts of her parents, Melissa is close to reaching her goals.
DACA Recipient: Cesar Espinosa (Houston, TX)
Fiel Houston INC
Cesar Espinosa is a Co-founder and current Executive Director of FIEL (Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha – Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle). FIEL is immigrant-led nonprofit that seeks to empower the immigrant community in Houston, Texas, the state of Texas itself, across the United States. Before moving to the United States, lived in Mexico. Living here, he has learned the impact of grassroots organizing on communities.He graduated from Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professionals and is an advocate for immigrant rights, student rights, and human rights.