Recon bill includes legal dreamers for green cards and provides a path towards US citizenship - Times of India

Recon bill includes legal dreamers for green cards and provides a path towards US citizenship – Times of India


The Reconciliation Bill, in its proposed provisions relating to immigration that was released by the US House Judiciary Committee, has good news in store for legal (documented) dreamers.
On payment of a supplemental fee of $ 1500 and passing the requisite law enforcement checks and a medical exam, dreamers (both undocumented and documented) can adjust their status to that of a permanent resident (green card holder).
For this, the two primarily conditions to be met are: They must have arrived in US before they turned 18 and continuously resided here since then; and they were continuously physically present in the United States since January 1, 2021.

In addition, to qualify one of the four conditions needs to be met – the individuals must have either served in the US armed forces; attained or completed at least two years in good standing from a US educational institution in a degree program or a post-secondary credential program; or during the three-year period immediately before applying for adjustment of status, the individual should have had a consistent record of earned income in the US. Lastly, students or those engaged in internship, apprenticeship or similar training program are also eligible to apply for an adjustment of status.
Dip Patel, president of ‘Improve The Dream’, an advocacy association led by young immigrants who have grown up in the US says, “This is the most inclusive text for dreamers we have had in any bill, as it allows all children to qualify, regardless of status.”

However, he points out that House Judiciary Committee should suitably amend or clarify that the continuous physical presence test should allow for certain travel, which otherwise may disqualify some individuals.
Documented dreamers are those children who were brought to the US when they were kids. Their parents entered the US legally on non-immigrant visas such as H-1B. Currently, when these children turn 21 (age out), they can no longer continue with their H-4 dependent visas. Either they have to transit to an F-1 visa meant for international students, which has its own challenges such as higher fees and restricted work eligibility; or they have to self deport to their home country, say India.
As TOI has consistently reported, the decades-long employment based green card backlog for Indians compounds the problem, as a large majority of these children age out before the green card can be obtained.
According to an earlier study done by David Bier, a research fellow at Cato Institute, as of April 2020, 1.36 lakh children from Indian families were caught in the EB2 and EB3 employment based green card category backlog, which had an estimated wait time of 84 years. Bier had pointed out that 62% of such children would age out without getting a green card.
In the context of this bill, Bier has posted on social media, “First thing to note: it’s a straight-line path to legal permanent residence—which guarantees a path to citizenship after five years. This is different from other earlier legalization plans including the House-passed Dream and Promise Act, which was a conditional path.”





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