Pathway to Citizenship for Dreamers
The Democratic-led House of Representatives, with the support of seven Republicans, voted to pass a bill that would provide a pathway for citizenship to immigrants, entitled the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019. However, the White House stated that when the bill comes to the White House for President Trump’s signature, he will veto it.
This bill paves a way for children popularly known as Dreamers to become citizens. This bill would prevent Dreamers from being deported. Dreamers and immigrants who may not have the necessary documents or arrived in the country as minors could qualify for conditional legal status depending on the length of their stay in the U.S. Their immigration status will also depend on meeting certain requirements regarding education and ability to pass background checks for felonies and misdemeanors.
Under this bill, these persons will qualify for unconditional permanent legal resident status if they meet certain additional conditions. A pathway is provided for those who have post-secondary degrees, serve in the military, or have worked for at least three years. After being a permanent resident for five years, these individuals may apply for citizenship
Temporary Protected Status
This bill also seeks to provide a pathway to citizenship for those individuals who are currently in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status. This status is awarded to those who have fled war torn countries, such as Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. This program currently protects 300,000 people temporarily. If the bill passes into law, these citizens may have a pathway to citizenship as well. Additionally, the bill also seeks to provide a way for several thousand Liberians fleeing the Ebola virus who are here in the U.S. on a temporary basis to become citizens.
Chances of Bill Becoming Law
Even though the bill passed the House of Representatives with an overwhelming majority, its chances of becoming law are slim in the current political climate. Republicans have criticized the bill for lacking border security measures. They also argue that the bill may cost more than $30 billion over a decade because many of these immigrants would qualify and likely partake in federal benefits, such as Medicaid.
The White House has argued that it will incentivize and reward illegal immigration. Others have argued that this bill will also increase crime. Many critics state that this bill was passed by the House to simply showcase an issue that is a priority for the Democratic Party’s political base.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of Tahir Mella, P.C. Represent Those Facing Immigration Issues
If you or someone you know immigrated to the U.S. as a minor and needs assistance in obtaining legal resident status or citizenship, contact the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Tahir Mella, P.C. We have thorough knowledge of the developing immigration laws. Call us today at 215-496-0690 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.