This week in wins: House Democrats pass long-awaited bill to protect Dreamers


While Trump was creating diplomatic disasters, Democrats were passing landmark legislation and blocking extremist GOP laws in states across the country.

The news these days just feels grim.

From Trump's unhinged behavior, to his mean-spirited policies that target the most vulnerable among us, to the hypocrisy and obstructionism of the entire Republican Party, the steady stream of bad news can leave even the most positive people in a funk.

That's why we at Shareblue have decided to compile a list of good news each week: A reminder that, while you may not see these stories leading the cable television networks or plastered across front pages, there are still things worth celebrating going on.

This is the first edition of our weekly good news roundup. As we grow and evolve it, the format or even the name may change.

But what will be a constant is finding positive, hopeful news from around the country to help you get your weekend off to a good start.

So, without further ado, here are some good news stories from this week.

House Democrats passed a sweeping bill to protect immigrants brought to the United States as young children.

The House on Tuesday — led by the chamber's Democratic majority — passed a landmark immigration bill that would create a pathway to citizenship for 2.5 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors through no fault of their own.

Every Democrat in the House voted for H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, which gives permanent legal protection to immigrants currently covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created under President Obama in 2012.

Those immigrants, known as Dreamers, currently face uncertain status after Trump canceled the DACA program that allows them to remain in the U.S. — which is often the only country these young people have ever known. While DACA remains in place thanks to a court order, its future is in limbo under Trump.

The bill also allows immigrants who are currently in the U.S. thanks to temporary humanitarian protections to remain in the U.S.

After a mass shooting, Virginia is taking action on gun control bills.

In the wake of a deadly shooting in Virginia Beach last month, Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced he is calling the state legislature back for a special session to vote on a series of gun control bills, the Washington Post reports.

Northam wants the legislature to focus on bills that would ban military-style guns, as well as gun magazines that carry more than 10 bullets. Northam also wants to see a law that restricts people to purchasing just one handgun per month, as well as "red flag laws" that let law enforcement officials take weapons away from people who the court determines pose a threat to themselves or others.

Given that both chambers of the state legislature are controlled by Republicans, it's unclear whether any of these bills will pass, and if they do, which ones.

However, public opinion in Virginia is shifting toward stronger gun control measures.

"We must do more than give our thoughts and prayers,” Northam told the Washington Post. "We must give Virginians the action they deserve."

Wisconsin's Democratic governor will veto anti-abortion bills.

Republican legislatures across the country have been passing extreme abortion laws that ban abortion before many women even know they are pregnant, eliminate exemptions for rape and incest, and even place criminal penalties on doctors who perform the procedure.

In Wisconsin, however, the GOP-controlled legislature will fail to get a series of abortion bans passed now that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vowed to veto all of their extreme bills.

It's another sign that all elections matter for Democrats, not just the presidency. While Democrats couldn't overcome Wisconsin's extreme gerrymander to take control of the state legislature, Evers' victory is providing a failsafe against the GOP-controlled legislative body's worst impulses.

North Carolina Republicans failed to overturn a veto on an anti-abortion bill.

Just like Evers promises to do in Wisconsin, North Carolina's Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed an anti-abortion bill passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature.

Cooper vetoed the bill, which would have created criminal penalties for doctors who do not treat infants born alive after an abortion, because he said it created "unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients" for a "practice that simply does not exist."

And because Democrats picked up some seats in the North Carolina legislature in 2018 and broke the GOP's supermajority in both chambers of the state House and Senate, Republicans did not have the votes to override Cooper's veto.

Again, elections really do matter.

Michigan made it easier for college students to vote.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that she will help make it easier for college students in her state to vote, the Washington Post reports — a move that could benefit Democrats in the 2020 elections.

Benson will run a campaign to help students register to vote on their college campuses. The effort is part of a settlement with college groups who sued to invalidate a law that only allows students to vote using the address on their driver's licenses. The lawsuit said the law made it confusing for students, many of whom have licenses with the address of their parents' homes in other parts of the state.

Nearly 600,000 students were enrolled in colleges and universities in Michigan in 2016. But many of them thought they were unable to vote because their licenses had their parent's address, despite the fact that they live in dorms or apartments on or near their college campus. This new settlement will help prevent that confusion and make it easier for students to register and vote.

"Today’s agreement is a victory for college students throughout the state of Michigan," Michigan State University College Democrats President Carter Oselett said in a statement. "College Democrats want to thank Secretary of State Benson and the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] for their work in making the ballot more accessible for young voters. Here at Michigan State, we have seen how Republican voter suppression has impacted college students’ access to the ballot, and it is reassuring that after today’s decision, young people and college students, regardless of party, will be allowed to exercise their right to vote."

Come back next week for more good news.