House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) claimed on Tuesday that President Donald Trump told him that he would sign the Dream Act if Congress passes a bill to give amnesty to millions of so-called Dreamers.
Speaking at the introduction ceremony for the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), Hoyer said he went with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to the White House “about a year ago” and sat to the left of Trump while Durbin sat to Trump’s right.
“And Senator [Chuck] Grassley asked him a question. He said, ‘Mr. President, the Dreamers have not done anything wrong. The Dreamers have lived here almost all their lives. They know no other country. Mr. President, we need to make sure they can stay here,’” Hoyer said. “And Senator [Dianne] Feinstein, a Democrat, and Senator Grassley, a Republican, asked the same question.”
Hoyer then claimed that Trump said, “Yes, we need to take care of that. And then we’ll deal with comprehensive immigration reform, which we need to deal with. We need to fix a broken system.”
“And as we left, the president said, ‘You pass a bill and I will sign it,’” Hoyer recalled. “That’s what the president of the United States said… When he meets exceptional people, he thinks they ought to be here.”
Amnesty activists reportedly helped House Democrats craft the latest version of the Dream Act, which will give Dreamers who meet various requirements “conditional permanent resident status for 10 years” in addition to canceling removal proceedings.
In addition, the bill will allow Dreamers to access federal financial aid and even permit “eligible Dreamers deported from the United States by the Trump Administration to apply for relief from abroad.”
The bill will also give permanent protections to those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and those who have received Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she expects the Dream and Promise Act to pass the House with a “strong, bipartisan vote” and then said the House would try to pass an even more comprehensive amnesty bill after that.
“We look forward to a strong, bipartisan vote to pass this legislation and safeguard every child and family’s right to pursue their American dream,” Pelosi said. “Once we pass this bill, we will fight for a comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system which embraces the contribution of all of our newcomers.”
Pelosi added that “there should be nothing partisan or political in this legislation. Protecting Dreamers and TPS and DED Americans is about honoring and respecting the family that is at the heart of our faith and the heart of who we are as Americans.”
Pelosi said Democrats are acting on the Dream Act because in the 2018 midterm elections, “the American people elected a new Democratic House majority that will advance progress for all Americans and uphold our values of liberty, justice and opportunity.”