Congressman Lowenthal Leads Members Pushing For Travel Rights For Dreamers

December 12, 2018
Press Release

http://On Tuesday, December 11, Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) led a coalition of 14 Members of Congress on a letter urging Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to restore the ability of Dreamers to travel abroad.

Since 2012, individuals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—better known as Dreamers—had been able to apply for advance parole if they need to travel abroad for humanitarian, labor, or educational purposes. Advance parole is a determination from DHS that can be used by undocumented immigrants to temporarily travel outside the U.S. and return without penalty. Obtaining this status allowed Dreamers to pursue employment that required foreign travel, to visit family and loved ones suffering from illness, and to participate in educational programs abroad. However, the Trump Administration's order to rescind the DACA program in 2017 halted the approval of advance parole for Dreamers.

While court orders since 2017 have upheld the overall DACA program, the Trump Administration has not reinstated the ability of these individuals to apply for advance parole. As a result of this policy, Dreamers have missed funerals and been denied educational and employment opportunities.

"For years, I have been inspired by the Dreamers in my community, including the dozens who have participated in the Dreamers Study Abroad program through CSU Long Beach" Congressman Lowenthal said. "I am gravely disappointed that DHS has stopped approving advance parole for DACA recipients—denying them the ability to visit loved ones or pursue life-changing educational opportunities. I hope that Sec. Nielsen will do the right thing and reinstate this important program."

"We are sending this letter on behalf of the thousands of Dreamers who can no longer leave the country to visit loved ones or pursue educational opportunities as a result of the Trump administration's irresponsible and short-sighted decision to end the DACA program," Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán said. "Nearly 8,000 Dreamers in my district and those across the nation have suffered because of this Administration's inhumane political agenda. That's why we're urging Sec. Nielsen to reinstate advance parole for DACA recipients."

"I am pleased and appreciative of Reps. Alan Lowenthal and Nanette Barragan for their leadership and advocacy to restore DACA's Advance Parole provision, denied to Dreamers since September 5, 2017" said Prof. Armando Vazquez-Ramos, President of the California-Mexico Studies Center. "We trust that their letter will receive the deserved attention from the Administration and the Secretary's agreement to restore approval of DACA recipients' advance parole permits to study abroad and for humanitarian reasons. This administrative decision does not require legislation and would be a sign of good faith without prejudice by the government."

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

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