Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) offered a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have protected the children of long-term visa holders – also known as Documented Dreamers – from aging out of the system while they await green cards. Republicans on the House Rules Committee blocked the amendment from moving to the floor for a vote despite a similar amendment passing the House in the NDAA in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote last year. The amendment’s cosponsors include Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Maria Salazar (FL-27), Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Young Kim (CA-40), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), and Emilia Sykes (OH-13).

“I have heard directly from Documented Dreamers in my district who want to serve our country in uniform, but are unable to answer the call to serve because of flaws in our broken immigration system,” said Congresswoman Ross. “It is unconscionable that we continue to force many of these talented, patriotic young people to self-deport to countries they may barely remember. I’m disappointed that my Republican colleagues blocked this amendment from even being considered on the floor when a similar amendment was included in the House-passed version of last year’s bipartisan NDAA. I will not stop fighting for protections for Documented Dreamers and will continue using every avenue available to get legislation across the finish line this Congress.”

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Ross reintroduced the bipartisan America’s CHILDREN Act, which includes age-out protections as well as a path to permanent residency for the children of long-term visa holders.