Hope of Citizenship for DACA Holders

shot of word daca

The U.S. Senate parliament is currently deliberating whether to allow an immigration reform measure, called the America’s Children Act, into the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that was proposed by the congressional Democrats. On September 15, Senators introduced a bipartisan bill that would potentially allow Dreamers - children and young adults who were raised in the United States who would face deportation when they turned 21 - to acquire citizenship.

Senator Padilla, one of the Senators who introduced the bill, said: “We cannot turn our backs on the ‘Documented Dreamers’ who have spent most of their lives in this country, contributing to their communities and our economy but face continued uncertainty and risk deportation once they turn 21.”

“These young people deserve the opportunity to pursue their American Dream and continue building lives in the country they call home,” the senator said.

Dreamers is the name given to young children and young adults who are still dependent on their parents, nonimmigrant visa holders, and who are brought to the United States by their parents. They live in the country legally, but when it comes time to acquire documents that would allow their permanent stay in the country, many never qualify for residency and those eligible for green cards get stuck in the process and are unable to acquire residency before they turn 21 and lose their place in line.

This bill removes that uncertainty that surrounded DACA, since it was always temporary, and provides a more permanent solution. Documented Dreamers, as such maintain legal status, therefore, they are not eligible for protection under DACA or the work authorization that comes with it. Thisbillwillallowaround8millionofundocumentedimmigrantstoacquirelegalstatus, giving Dreamers protection from deportation and a work permit. By providing a pathway to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for Dreamers, including Documented Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers, it is estimated thatmorethan400,000newjobswillbecreated over the next 10 years.

There appears to be broad bipartisan support in both chambers for documented Dreamers after a long-time push for them to be included in an immigration overhaul.