Press Release ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
March 12, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-09), and House Democrats for a press event to introduce H.R. 6, The Dream and Promise Act, which provides a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Below is a transcript of his remarks:

“Thank you, [Committee on House Administration] Chair [Zoe] Lofgren, a critical leader on the issue of immigration in our country, one of the most knowledgable folks in our country on immigration. Thank you, my dear friend [Representative] Lucille Roybal-Allard, for introducing the DREAM Act, and being so passionate and effective in getting it to where it is today. [Representative] Nydia Velazquez … thank you for putting in the legislation that will deal with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and DED.  

“Gustavo [Torres of CASA de Maryland] is my good friend. How many of you are CASA de Maryland? Some personal pride there.

“Jessica [Garcia, a DREAMer], you are exceptional, but you’re not the exception. I have talked to literally hundreds [of DREAMers] like Jessica, who are making such a difference in our communities, in our states, in our countries right now, and you’re one of those. But you are exceptional, and thank you very much for your commitment to America and your commitment to making us a better country.

“Hever [Gálvez, TPS Recipient], thank you very much for your service last night. Were you in the hospital last night taking care of patients?

“I went down with Senator [Dick] Durbin to the White House about a year ago. Senator Durbin sat to the right of the President, I sat to the left of the President, and Senator [Chuck] Grassley asked him a question, said: ‘Mr. President, the DREAMers have not done anything wrong. The DREAMers have lived here almost all their lives. They know no other country. Mr. President we need to make sure they can stay here.’

“And Senator [Diane] Feinstein, a Democrat, and Senator [Chuck] Grassley, a Republican, asked the same question. And the President said, ‘Yes, we need to take care of that and then we’ll deal with comprehensive immigration reform,’ which we need to deal with. We need to fix a broken system. And as we left the President said, ‘you pass a bill and I will sign it.’ That’s what the President of the United States said. He could have been saying it to all of you because I know when he meets exceptional people he thinks that they ought to be here.

“We talk about America as a nation of immigrants, but guess what: America is America because those immigrants became citizens of America, and they helped build America, and they made America all that it could be – and they’re continuing to do that. And, very frankly, ladies and gentlemen, we need immigrants in America, as we always have, as we do today.

“Now, in 2012 President Obama signed legislation that said that we need the DREAMers, and we welcome those for TPS status fleeing natural disasters, civil wars, violence, whatever the reason you came here. I have a person in my district that Gustavo brought to my office, and he has been here 25 years. He has a business with 40 employees, 40 families depend upon him for their livelihood.

“And President Obama passed an executive order because he cared about those people, about making sure that they were without fear… President Obama cared.

“Eighty-six percent of the American people believe this bill ought to pass – 86%. And so the test for this legislation is DACA – Does America Care Again about making sure that Jessica, nor any other person lives in fear if they’re doing right by America and not sent to a country they don’t know and have not been in… the overwhelming majority of their lives?

“So ladies and gentlemen, we are here to pledge our efforts. I am here as Majority Leader to pledge that this bill is going to be on the Floor.

“Sí se puede, sí se puede. And yes we can. But what did the Speaker say? Yes, we will! We will! So DREAMers, keep dreaming, because America needs your dreams. Thank you very much.”