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Lipinski Joins Bill to Protect DACA Recipients from Deportation

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 496, the BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, which would protect recipients of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) from the threat of deportation.  This past Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continued the uncertainty for DACA recipients when it stated, “The future of the DACA program continues to be under review with the administration.”

The BRIDGE Act would grant those eligible under DACA three years of legal protection as well as employment authorization.  DACA provides temporary protection from removal – as well as work authorization – to people who were brought to the United States as children, as long as they register with the government, pay a fee, and pass a criminal background check.  More than 752 thousand individuals have received DACA authorization.  Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6), the author of H.R. 496, has limited co-sponsorship by Democrats to those who could also gain the support of a Republican co-sponsor.  Lipinski became only the 13th Democratic co-sponsor when he was able to bring on Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6) as a supporter.   

“President Trump said that he would not deport DACA recipients, but there continues to be stories that raise concerns about the status of these young immigrants and the latest announcement by DHS only adds to the uncertainty,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “That is why we need Congress to act and pass the BRIDGE Act.  It would ensure that these individuals can continue to work, get an education, and be protected from deportation.  Most Americans agree that this is the right thing to do.”

Lipinski’s leadership on the BRIDGE Act has drawn praise from those concerned about the plight of those who have been given an opportunity under DACA. 

“The North American Institute for Mexican Advancement (NAIMA) understands that building support for immigration issues also requires the support of centrist legislators such as Congressman Dan Lipinski,” stated NAIMA President Sergio Suarez.  “After meeting with the Congressman, NAIMA applauds his endorsement of the BRIDGE Act in support of DACA youth.  Lipinski’s support, along with his work to identify a Republican colleague to join as a co-sponsor of the bill, is a significant move in support of immigrant families.”

Under the BRIDGE Act, a current DACA recipient would receive provisional protected presence until the expiration date of his or her DACA status and could apply for continued protected presence prior to that expiration.  Applicants would be required to pay a reasonable fee, undergo criminal background checks, and meet a number of eligibility criteria indicating that they came to the United States as minors, grew up in this country, have pursued an education, have not committed any serious crimes, and do not pose a threat to our country.  An individual’s provisional protected presence and employment authorization would be subject to revocation by DHS if it is determined that the individual no longer meets the eligibility criteria.  The BRIDGE Act would provide provisional protected presence and employment authorization for three years after the date of enactment of the legislation.

“The BRIDGE Act is a bipartisan effort co-sponsored by an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in the House,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “I have always focused on bringing people together to solve problems, and I am very happy that I was able to gain Republican Rep. Fred Upton’s support for this bill.  Unfortunately, Congress is not working in a bipartisan manner on comprehensive immigration reform that fixes the problem and prevents it from reoccurring.  So we should at least make sure that those who signed up for DACA are protected.” 

The BRIDGE Act (06/21/1705:48 PMET )