Universal Dream Services

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the United States Congress has introduced a bill aimed at protecting the children of documented dreamers, with a significant majority being Indian Americans, from self-deportation after reaching the age of 21.Documented dreamers, who are long-term visa holders estimated to number around 250,000, have grown up legally in the US but face the risk of deportation once they turn 21.
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Under the current system

Documented dreamers are compelled to leave the US and return to their country of birth, depriving them of their future and livelihoods in America.

America’s CHILDREN Act, introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, seeks to grant permanent residency to individuals who were brought to the US as dependent children of workers.

The legislation also provides protection for any child who has spent a cumulative total of eight years in the US before the age of 21 as a dependent of a non-immigrant worker based on employment, allowing them to remain dependent on their parent’s nonimmigrant visa until they can obtain another status.

Among other provisions, the bill establishes age-out protections that freeze a child’s age on the date their parents apply for a Green Card. It also grants work authorization to individuals who qualify for age-out protection.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi expressed the impact of the current immigration system on the children of long-term visa holders, emphasizing that they are forced to leave the country before they can embark on their careers and pursue their own American Dream.

Congresswoman Deborah Ross highlighted the positive contributions made by documented dreamers, who grow up in American communities, attend schools alongside their peers, and embody the best of America.

In 2022, the House of Representatives took a significant step by passing a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This amendment included age-out protections for dependent children on Green Card applications, as well as non-immigrant dependent children.

He emphasized the importance of providing a viable path to citizenship for all dreamers. During his meeting with Improve the Dream, he engaged with documented dreamers to discuss strategies for garnering support for the America’s CHILDREN Act, which would make this pathway to citizenship attainable.

Documented dreamers welcomed the reintroduction of the bill

These individuals have grown up in the US, attended American schools, and graduated from American universities. However, as they have maintained legal status, documented Dreamers are not eligible for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or the associated work authorization.