We Cannot Celebrate a Bill that Perpetuates the Criminalization of Our Communities
Congress must Eliminate the Criminal Bars in the Dream & Promise Act before Passage
For Immediate Release
March 3, 2021
Sirine Shebaya, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — In response to the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act today in the House, the National Immigration Project released the following statement:
“…Instead of bold and courageous leadership…legislators have chosen to turn their backs on those who are most harmed by the immigration system. And they did so…without any transparency or accountability to the people they represent.”
“Our hearts are heavy today. We expected a day of jubilation, when we could join our communities in celebrating the introduction of a landmark bill that would provide a path to citizenship for so many who have lived here since they were children. But instead of bold and courageous leadership on legalization, legislators have chosen to turn their backs on those who are most harmed by the immigration system. And they did so behind closed doors, without any transparency or accountability to the people they represent.
Today, we see every Black or Latinx immigrant standing on a street corner with their friends whose name was put in a gang database because of the color of their skin. We see every Asian or Arab child who was labeled a “security threat” because of their country of origin. We see every BIPOC person who has been targeted, arrested, convicted, and punished because of a racially biased policing and criminal legal system. For all who are left behind by this bill, we will not stop fighting with you for a better future.
“…We cannot celebrate relief for some at the expense of others.”
We recognize that the bill would provide relief for many who have waited too long. But we cannot celebrate relief for some at the expense of others. Such a utilitarian calculus only perpetuates the same white supremacist and racist systems of oppression that have resulted in the detention, deportation, and double punishment of so many Black immigrants and immigrants of color. By including those who have suffered the most in these systems, we achieve the freedom and safety everyone deserves.
Nearly 280 organizations joined together to demand a clean Dream & Promise Act that does not leave our communities behind. Elected representatives must listen to those demands. The Dream & Promise Act must be amended before passage to eliminate the harmful criminal bars that will leave so many of our friends, family, and community behind.”