Analysis: The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act

January 26, 2017
Many people who are at risk of hunger have jobs—even more than one—and work hard just to get by and put food on the table for their families. Photo: Joe Molieri / Bread for the World

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Throughout its history, people have moved here from all over the world and have contributed to their communities and our national life. Today, as in the past, immigrants are also creating prosperity for this nation. 

Despite their contributions, many immi-grants face discrimination and barriers to opportunity. This increases their likelihood of struggling with hunger and poverty. The national poverty rate is 14.8 percent, while the poverty rate for immigrants, as a group, is 30 percent. It is likely that the poverty rate of undocumented households is even higher.

In 2012, in response to our broken immigration system, President Obama announced a new Department of Homeland Security policy called The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. DACA provides temporary relief and protection from removal as well as work authorization to young undocumented students and veterans who grew up in the United States. Many findings indicate that DACA has significantly helped undocumented youth achieve higher paying jobs and education while increasing their contribution to the local economy.

The Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act would provide temporary relief from deportation and authorize employment for eligible individuals. Temporary protection under the BRIDGE Act would ensure that these young people can continue to work and study in the United States while Congress debates legislation to fix our broken immigration system. 

Providing temporary relief for DACA recipients is a step in the right direction. Because a substantial percentage of undocumented immigrants in the United States lives in poverty and because legalization would help them escape hunger, immigration reform fits Bread for the World’s domestic agenda. We advocate for legislation that ensures a place at the table for everyone in the United States, regardless of legal status.

Take Action on This Issue

Call your senators and representative (800/826-3688) and tell them to co-sponsor the BRIDGE Act (S. 128  & H.R. 496).

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

  • Budget 101: Block Grants, Flexibility, and Per Capita Caps

    Recent congressional budget proposals and plans to reduce poverty include options for changing the structure of current social programs from “entitlements,” which provide sufficient funding to address the needs of everyone who meets the eligibility requirements to “block grants,” which provide...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

  • Bingo card for the presidential and vice presidential debates

    Play bingo while you watch the presidential and vice presidential debates!

    We want to elect leaders who make ending hunger and poverty a priority, so we are encouraging candidates to talk about these...