The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, on April 26, 2018, announced support for H.R. 4796, the “Uniting and Securing America” (USA) Act of 2018 as it is currently written. The USA Act is a bipartisan bill that offers a path to citizenship to Dreamers and augments existing border security technology at the U.S./Mexico border.
“We are hopeful our support of the current version of the USA Act, and our continued support of the Dream Act, will encourage Congress to act now and find a humane legislative solution for Dreamers,” noted Bishop Vásquez.
The USA Act would provide qualifying Dreamers – those born in the United States but with undocumented parents — with protection from deportation, as well as a path to citizenship. Additionally, the USA Act of 2018 would augment border security at the U.S./Mexico border, in part through the deployment of new technology; increase the number of immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals staff attorneys, and seek to address root causes and prevent future irregular migration from Central America.
On the need for immediate action, Bishop Vásquez stated: “Every day, my brother bishops and I witness directly the constant anxiety of Dreamer youth and their families, and that experience of urgency moves us to press Congress for an immediate and durable solution to this problem.”