Cooper to Join Effort to Force House Vote on DREAM Act
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) announced today that he will join a legislative effort to force a vote on the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship and permanent protection for young people who arrived in America as children.
“DREAMers are our friends and neighbors. They are hard workers and many are going to school or serving in our military,” Rep. Cooper said. “They have bright futures and embody the best of America. The DREAM Act has bipartisan support, so Congress should be allowed to vote on it.”
Last week in Nashville, Rep. Cooper criticized President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unless Congress acts in six months. Former President Barack Obama started DACA after Congress failed to agree on comprehensive immigration reform, and the program has granted permits to an estimated 750,000 “DREAMers,” including 8,000 Tennesseans.
To achieve their goal of a House vote on the DREAM Act, Democrats plan to file a discharge petition later this month. A discharge petition is a legislative procedure that at least half of House members must support in order to bring a given bill to the floor for a vote. The DREAM Act discharge petition effort is being led by House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1). Rep. Cooper plans to sign the discharge petition.
Rep. Cooper was the only member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation to vote for the DREAM Act in 2010. A cosponsor of the DREAM Act, Rep. Cooper continues to seek a long-term legislative solution and a path to citizenship for DREAMers.