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Panetta Cosponsors BRIDGE Act to Protect Undocumented Youth from Deportation

March 15, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced that he is a cosponsor of the BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act. This bipartisan legislation would protect undocumented young people brought to the United States as children, should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued.

“The BRIDGE Act is a bipartisan solution that addresses a humanitarian and economic crisis,” said Congressman Panetta. “These undocumented young people contribute so much to the communities in which they have lived for most of their lives. They deserve the opportunity to study, work, and continue to live in the United States. It is time for bipartisan immigration reform, and this legislation is the first step to achieve that goal.”

 

ABOUT THE BRIDGE ACT

The BRIDGE Act is a bipartisan bill. Members of congress are required to recruit a colleague on the other side of the aisle before becoming a cosponsor.

The legislation would provide temporary relief from deportation and employment authorization to individuals who are eligible for the Department of Homeland Security’s DACA program.

DACA provides temporary protection from removal and work authorization to young students and veterans who grew up in the United States if they register with the government, pay a fee, and pass a criminal background check.  More than 740,000 young people have received DACA.  Temporary protection under the BRIDGE Act would ensure that these young people can continue to work and study and be protected from deportation while Congress debates broader legislation to fix our broken immigration system.

The BRIDGE Act would provide “provisional protected presence” and employment authorization to DACA-eligible individuals.  A current DACA recipient would receive provisional protected presence until the expiration date of his or her DACA status and could apply for provisional protected presence prior to that expiration.  An individual who is not a DACA recipient but who is eligible for DACA could also apply for provisional protected presence.

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 the individual no longer met 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.