Thousands of Dreamers are now in limbo
During Donald Trump’s term, Dreamers went through difficult situations and were on the chopping block between 2017 and 2021. To give a little more context, Dreamers are young immigrants who came to the US as minors and who do not have legal documentation.
In the Trump administration’s opinion, undocumented immigrants should not have legalization alternatives as that would only encourage and increase mass irregular migration. Therefore, speaking specifically about Dreamers, former President Trump tried to remove the only immigration benefit available to them, the program called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
DACA is a deportation relief program that protects eligible Dreamers for two years, with the possibility of extension. For the past four years, the Trump administration attempted to eradicate DACA from the options available to immigrant communities in the US.
Unfortunately for Dreamers, in a legal process that began during Trump’s term, the judge in charge of the case recently ruled against DACA, stating that the program does not meet the regular parameters to be a legitimate immigration benefit and, therefore, banned the approval of new DACA applications.
This leaves thousands of Dreamers in limbo, who meet the requirements to become DACA recipients, have resided in the US for decades, and know almost nothing about their countries of origin.
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Several immigration bills might still benefit Dreamers
Although the judge’s ruling does not affect Dreamers who are already DACA recipients, there are still many young immigrants who do not have any kind of guarantee to protect their future in the US and could be at risk of deportation, regardless of whether they have lived most of their lives in North America or not.
However, there is still an alternative available to this immigrant community and it is related to several immigration bills currently under congressional review that could open a path to legalization for thousands of Dreamers, as long as they meet certain eligibility requirements.
To give a specific example, in March 2021, the US House of Representatives passed an immigration bill called the “American Dream and Promise Act”, which, if passed by the Senate, would offer conditional permanent residence to approximately 2.5 million Dreamers. This bill would also protect beneficiaries of TPS (Temporary Protected Status) or DED (Deferred Enforced Departure), two other deportation relief programs.
In addition, there is also other legislation on the Senate’s waiting list for review that would protect thousands of Dreamers in the US. At this point, it is important to explain that the reason why several members of Congress have introduced or reintroduced certain immigration bills to protect young immigrants is because they have become an essential part of the national economy.
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