Congresswomen Escobar, Torres Introduce Bill to Safeguard DREAMers’ Private Information from Use for Deportation
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Representatives Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Norma J. Torres (D-CA) introduced the Protect DREAMers Confidentiality Act of 2019 to protect DREAMers’ private information, such as addresses and phone numbers, from being used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for deportation purposes. The Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, effectively stripping recipients of their protective status, in September 2017. Judicial rulings have forced the administration to reinstate the program, but they could be overturned at any time, putting DREAMers in limbo.
“Dreamers are part of the rich and beautiful fabric of our nation. Congress has a duty to protect them against the Trump administration, and take real steps to ensure the confidential information they provided about themselves and their families is never used against them,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “That is why I’m proud to join Congresswoman Torres to introduce the Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act and help thousands of Dreamers across the country, including the almost 9,000 from El Paso.”
“When we look at the Homeland Security Department’s actions throughout the Trump administration, it’s clear that Secretary Nielsen can’t be trusted to protect DREAMers’ personal information. These young people are teachers, doctors, and small businessowners—valuable members of our communities who pose no national security threat to our nation,” said Congresswoman Torres. “We should be affording them the same protections for their personal data as we would for any American citizen. I’m proud to join with Congresswoman Escobar to help provide DREAMers with the peace of mind that they won’t be uprooted from the only country they’ve known as home.”
Specifically, the bill would safeguard the confidentiality of information submitted in requests for the DACA program from disclosure to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection for any purpose other than implementing the DACA program, unless there are national security concerns or other limited exceptions.
The Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2019 was first introduced by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in January. The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).