Washington, DC – This week, Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) cosponsored H.R. 496, the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which allows individuals who meet the standards of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to remain in the United States without fear of deportation. This protected status lasts for a period of three years while Congress and the administration update U.S. immigration laws. Additionally, an applicant may not be removed from the U.S. while his or her application for protected status is pending if the applicant meets the necessary requirements.
“We can and should defend the children who were brought to our nation many years ago outside of their own control,” said Congressman Reichert. “This is their country and their home. I am proud to support these children by cosponsoring legislation to allow these individuals who are our neighbors, loved ones, colleagues and productive members of our communities to remain and work in America while we continue working toward a long-term immigration solution. Our immigration system must be fair, effective, and compassionate toward the many families and individuals seeking to live the American dream and contribute to our communities.”
“It’s our moral responsibility to protect children who were brought here years ago through no fault of their own. Not only because they are our friends, neighbors and loved ones, but because it’s right thing to do,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “We are the land of opportunity that welcomes anyone seeking a better life and access to the American dream. Our inhumane immigration system goes against our values. We need to work together to solve this crisis. This is an important first step toward protecting these young people from deportation. I will continue to advocate for a permanent solution not only for these children, but also their families.”
Background on the BRIDGE Act:
- Provides provisional protected presence for individuals who met certain eligibility standards. These include being born after June 15th, 1981 and entering the U.S. before reaching the age of 16. Additionally, an applicant must not have been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors, must not be a security risk, and must be enrolled in school, have graduated from high school or have a certificate of completion, or is an honorably discharged veteran. This status would last for 3 years after the date of enactment of the legislation.
- An applicant may not be removed from the U.S. while his or her application for protected status is pending if the applicant appears to meet the necessary requirements.
- Includes protections against the sharing of applicant information.