A bill including a pathway to citizenship for residents under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and delayed Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) passed the House June 4.

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips co-sponsored the bill, which is titled the American Dream and Promise Act.

“The bill gives the most hardworking, driven and educated immigrants a chance to fully live the american dream,” he said in a press release.

Back in March, President Donald Trump extended the status of DED recipients by one year. The status applies to Liberian immigrants, of which there is a large community in the west metro of the Twin Cities.

“Upon further reflection and review,” he said in the declaration. “I have decided that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to extend the wind-down period for an additional 12 months, through March 30, 2020.”

He cited concerns for continuing strife in Liberia, and a “unique” relationship between the U.S. and Liberia as reasons for the extension. The release says Trump is directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to terminate DED for Liberian beneficiaries in a year’s time.

Several Minnesota legislators said they would find a way to citizenship for the residents within the year. For DED and TPS recipients who have been in the U.S. three years and without felony convictions or more than one misdemeanor, the bill would give a pathway to permanent resident status. Those who would live for five years as a permanent resident could then apply for citizenship.

“When President Trump extended DED for one year in March,” Phillips said in the release, “I promised to work to find a legislative fix that would prevent the need for more extensions.”

The bill is also co-sponsored by Rep. Angie Craig with Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District and Rep. Ilhan Omar with the 5th Congressional District.

Lara is a regional reporter for Southwest News Media.


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