Bipartisan Group Seeks Permanent Residency Pathway for Documented Dreamers
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan delegation of lawmakers is renewing the push to create a clear path to permanent legal status for individuals who age out of temporary protection from deportation.
In a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, Sens. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Reps. Deborah Ross, D-N.C., and Ami Bera, D-Calif., discussed their legislative initiative to protect dependents of long-term non-immigrant visa holders from deportation. The lawmakers were flanked by a constituency of young people, known as “Documented Dreamers,” who legally immigrated to the country but lack legal protection from deportation under current law.
The bill, entitled the America’s Cultivation of Hope and Inclusion for Long-term Dependents Raised and Educated Natively Act, would grant lawful permanent resident status to certain college graduates who entered the United States as children. It was introduced into the House in July 2021 and currently awaits a hearing in the Judiciary Committee.
“For too long, these young people have been left out of discussions about immigration reform in Congress,” Ross said during the press conference. “But today, I’m proud to stand with this remarkable group. They worked so hard to draw attention to their challenging circumstances and to advocate for a common sense solution.”
Specifically, the legislation would allow immigrants to apply for lawful permanent resident status if they:
- Graduate from a higher education institution in the U.S.
- Were lawfully admitted into the country as a dependent child of a migrant on a temporary worker visa.
- Reside in the country for four years with such status.
- Have been lawfully residing in the country for at least 10 years at the time of their application.
More than 200,000 people currently living in the U.S. meet those criteria, according to the American Immigration Council. Ten Republicans in the House have signed on as cosponsors of the legislation, two of whom, Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, and Young Kim, R-Calif., are original cosponsors.
“For these young people, turning 21 means facing an impossible choice,” Padilla said to reporters on Wednesday. “Either to leave your family and self-deport to a country that you may barely remember, or to stay in the United States living, undocumented, in the shadows.”
Similar legislation that would extend permanent resident status protections to people in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy passed in the House last year and received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2021. That bill, entitled the American Dream and Promise Act, received widespread support among Democrats while only nine Republicans voted in favor of its passage.
In September 2017, then-President Donald Trump ordered an end to the DACA program, which was eventually rescinded in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. In January 2021, President Joe Biden issued a memo to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske directing them to take steps to preserve and fortify DACA.
“Over the years, we made America our home,” Dip Patel, a documented Dreamer, said on Wednesday. “This country helped raise me [and] educate me, but I still lack the certainty to be able to permanently stay here. And this is the story that resonates with over 200,000 documented Dreamers in this country like me.
“Passing America’s CHILDREN Act will end aging out, bring our vision to life and recognize that we are Americans,” he said.
In The News
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justices on Thursday approved the Biden administration’s attempts to rescind the Migrant Protection Protocol, or the... Read More
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justices on Thursday approved the Biden administration’s attempts to rescind the Migrant Protection Protocol, or the “Remain in Mexico” border policy, dealing a blow to Republican-led states’ attempts to prolong the enforcement of Trump-era immigration policy. The justices’ decision in Biden v.... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocol, also... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocol, also known as the Remain in Mexico policy, did not violate federal immigration law. The majority in the 5-4 decision also held that an October memorandum issued... Read More
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Forty-six people were found dead after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road... Read More
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Forty-six people were found dead after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road in San Antonio in the latest tragedy to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico to the U.S. Sixteen people were hospitalized,... Read More
WASHINGTON — The line originally comes from Ecclesiastes 3 in the King James version of The Bible, but is likely... Read More
WASHINGTON — The line originally comes from Ecclesiastes 3 in the King James version of The Bible, but is likely better known to generations of music fans due to the autumn 1965 hit “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds. “To every thing,” the good book and... Read More
WASHINGTON — Ten years ago in a Rose Garden ceremony on June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama unveiled the Deferred... Read More
WASHINGTON — Ten years ago in a Rose Garden ceremony on June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama unveiled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented adolescents from deportation and provides them with a work permit. It was, in fact, a Hail Mary, an... Read More
WASHINGTON — In a pair of rulings on Monday, the Supreme Court made it more difficult for illegal immigrants to... Read More
WASHINGTON — In a pair of rulings on Monday, the Supreme Court made it more difficult for illegal immigrants to challenge U.S. policies directed at them in court. In the first case, Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez, a unanimous court ruled that immigrants do not have a right... Read More