The White House came out with a statement on June 15th, 2021, reaffirming the administration’s support for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). This statement was released to coincide with the 9th anniversary of the original signing of DACA by former President Obama.
Since DACA was created in 2012, over 800,000 immigrant youth who came to the United States as children have been allowed to remain in the country and work lawfully, pursue their educational goals and maintain the hope that one day they will be able to obtain full citizenship.
The Biden Administration still stresses in the statement that to create long-term and permanent immigration reform with a path to citizenship, Congress will need to act.
In March, the House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act that would provide Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders, and Deferred Enforced Departure recipients with protection from deportation and an opportunity to obtain permanent legal status.
The American Dream and Promise Act would allow nearly 700,000 DACA recipients and 1.6 million Dreamers to stay in the United States and obtain a conditional permanent resident status that is valid for up to 10-years.
To qualify for conditional permanent resident status Dreamers would need to meet the following requirements:
- Establish that they came to the US before the age of 18 and have continuously lived in the US for at least 4-years before the bill’s enactment.
- Demonstrate that they have been admitted to an institution of higher education, earned a high school diploma or GED, and or are currently in the process of earning a high school diploma or GED.
- Pass government and background security checks, submit biometric and biographic data, demonstrate good character with no felony or multiple misdemeanor convictions.
- Register for Selective Service.
- Other ways to qualify other than education include military service and a valid employment record of at least three years.
The Biden Administration’s statement along with the upholding of DACA by the U.S. supreme court are both great signs that the U.S. is getting serious about creating a pathway to citizenship for all dreamers.
If you feel you qualify as a dreamer but are still being targeted by ICE and face potential deportation, know that you have rights no matter your immigration status.