Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), said on Monday that he is “confident” that the House can pass the DREAM Act this year.
After Democrats took back the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vowed that Democrats would prioritize permanent amnesty for “patriotic” Dreamers. House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) also revealed that Democrats want to pass a Dream Act “as early as possible.”
Castro indicated that Democrats want to also give protections to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in addition to working on a broader comprehensive amnesty bill.
“I’m confident that we can pass the DREAM Act and also TPS legislation to offer protections to TPS holders who may be kicked out by President Trump’s executive orders,” Castro told The Hill. “And then we’ll also in the longer term, or on the horizon, put together a comprehensive immigration reform bill. And, you know, hopefully, the Senate and the White House are willing to negotiate at that point.”
Democrats rejected President Donald Trump’s initial offer to extend protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and TPS holders for three years in exchange for $5 billion in money for a border wall, and Castro’s remarks indicate that Democrats believe they can get broader permanent legislation enacted when it comes to so-called “Dreamers” and TPS holders.
Castro also said the Hispanic Caucus will push Democrats to investigate the Trump administration’s child separation policy at the border and response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
“Well, what I mean when it comes to investigations, we wanted to be sure that some major issues that concern the Latino community are looked into. For example, why is it that the hurricane response in Puerto Rico was so slow and how did so many people end up dying,” Castro added.