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Heinrich, Torres, Escobar Reintroduce Bicameral Bill To Protect Dreamer Data

WASHINGTON (March 18, 2021) – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Norma Torres (D-Calif.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) reintroduced the Protect Dreamer Confidentiality Act. This legislation safeguards the private information—such as addresses and telephone numbers—of young immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), also known as Dreamers. The measure is included in the Dream and Promise Act that passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with a vote of 228-197. 

“Dreamers in New Mexico and across the country, are stepping up to serve their communities. Dreamers are frontline health care workers, teachers, firefighters, police officers, scientists, and members of our military. These inspiring young people are Americans in every sense of the word except on paper, and they want nothing more than to be productive members of their communities. But until Congress passes the Dream Act, these young people will continue to worry about whether they will be able to stay in school, keep working and contributing to our economy, or remain in their homes and neighborhoods,” said Heinrich. “I’m pleased that the House and Senate version of the Dream Act includes my provision on Dreamer data confidentiality that I have championed for years. We must ensure that no matter who is in the White House, Dreamer’s DACA application information – such as telephone numbers and addresses – is protected. I’m proud to reintroduce this important, bicameral legislation that provides DACA applicants with a sense of security as they continue their paths to citizenship.” 

“Dreamers are indispensable to our diversity and our culture – their presence in our communities should never be subject to political whims of the moment,” said Torres. “The bill we’re re-introducing today will ensure the personal information DACA recipients volunteered to receive their status is never used against them by officials opposed to the program. I’m proud to continue working with Senator Heinrich, Congresswoman Escobar and all of our partners on this important issue, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in keeping our friends, neighbors and loved ones who are American in every way but the paperwork safe right here at home.” 

“Dreamers are part of the rich and beautiful fabric of our nation and my vote for the Dream and Promise Act delivers on my promise to defend the American Dream and permanently protect immigrant youth so they can continue contributing to our communities and economy,” said Escobar. “I am proud that the Protect DREAMers Confidentiality Act – introduced by Congresswoman Torres and me – was included in this vital legislation to ensure the confidential information Dreamers have provided about themselves and their families is never used against them by those trying to undermine the DACA program and America’s values.” 

The Protect Dreamer Confidentiality Act would protect 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. 

On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to preserve and fortify the DACA program after former President Donald Trump sought to end the program in September 2017. The former administration’s actions threatened nearly 1 million Dreamers across the nation. 

The Protect Dreamer Confidentiality Act is cosponsored in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). 

The bill is also cosponsored in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).

A copy of the bill is available here.