Dems Introduce Bill to Protect Dreamers

Democrats introduced a bill Thursday protecting undocumented young immigrants known as Dreamers, but the bill providing them with permanent legal status will most likely not pass the Senate.

The non-partisan Migration Policy Institute said the legislation could provide legal status and even citizenship for as many as 2.6 million Dreamers, and 429,000 people with Temporary Protected Status, but noted that due to contentious immigration issues, the permanent status of these immigrants has always been met with obstacles.

“This piece of legislation has such a troubled history,” said Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the institute.

Dreamers would be granted a conditional permanent status for 10 years, provided they have no criminal conviction and have been continuously living in the United States for four years. If they attend college or serve in the military for two years, Dreamers can then achieve full lawful permanent resident status, the bill says.

The Wall Street Journal writes that this would, in turn, pave the path for Dreamers to a U.S. citizenship should they decide to stay in the United States. Dreamers removed from the U.S. during the Trump administration would also be allowed to return.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, about 1.3 million unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 18 met all requirements as of 2017 to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

The legislation would also provide protections for participants in the Temporary Protected Status program, that is immigrants from countries affected by natural disasters or armed conflict, including Nicaragua and El Salvador.

The bill was introduced by California Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard and co-sponsored by 204 Democrats. “I have seen the pain and fear the Trump administration has had on Dreamers and their families,” Allard said.

Republicans, on the other hand, are unlikely to support the bill, saying that it needs to be paired with more border-security measures to get their backing.

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