A Path to Citizenship for Dreamers
For decades, young undocumented immigrants and minors – “Dreamers” – have petitioned for a path to permanent residency in the US with little success. On Tuesday, June 4th the Democrats passed an ambitious new bill called the American Dream and Promise Act, which would provide Dreamers a path to citizenship even as the federal administration threatens to deport them. Using their majority in the House, the Democrats saw the legislation pass 237 to 187; however, the act may not see similar approval once it reaches the Republican-controlled Senate.
Dreamers would not be deported
The Dreamers are young adults and minors who were brought to the US illegally, which the Obama administration protected from deportation by creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. While the program was a positive step, it only provided temporary legal status. Dreamers would not be deported for two years and during that time they could enroll in college, receive licenses, and pay taxes. However, after those two years, the Dreamers would have to apply for a renewal. What the Democrats have been campaigning for is a path to citizenship or permanent residency for these individuals after their temporary status.
The opposition comes from Republicans who would like to see a stronger stance on immigration and greater resources for border control. In fact, Republicans have expressed that they will only support the American Dream and Promise Act if resources are dedicated to border security – namely, the border wall. The Democrats also lack support from the White House as it has threatened veto action. While the bill may not fully materialize once it hits the Senate, it does provide a framework for the Democrat position on immigration and Dreamers for the upcoming 2020 presidential election.