A group of eminent Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday revived their push to give a pathway to citizenship to nearly 250,000 documented ‘dreamers’, a significant majority of whom are Indian Americans.
Led by California Senator Alex Padilla and Congresswoman Deborah Ross, the lawmakers urged their colleagues in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives to pass bipartisan America’s Children Act, which will allow staying children of the people who immigrated to the country legally but are yet to get a green card because of a massive backlog.
The so-called documented dreamers, who are estimated to be around 250,000, grew up lawfully in the US but risk deportation when they turn 21 years of age.
“For these young people, turning 21 means facing an impossible choice. Either to leave your family and self-deport to a country that you barely remember. Or to stay in the United States living, undocumented, in the shadows,” Padilla told reporters at a news conference here.
The US seeks a pathway to citizenship for documented ‘dreamers’
Indian American Congressman Dr. Ami Bera said that documented dreamers were raised in America and they know this country as their main home. “However, they risk having to self-deport by the age of 21 due to backlogs in the immigration system. Congress should pass America’s Children Act to extend protections to these young people,” he said.
More than 40 of these youngsters, who have created the group “improve on the Dream” joined these lawmakers at the US Capitol press conference. “These talented young people have been left out of conversations about immigration reform for too long. We’re ready to change that,” Congresswoman Ross said.
Moreover, “Documented Dreamers represent the very best of America. We should allow them the opportunity to remain in the country they love and call home,” she said.
Senator Richard Durbin, director of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters that the legislation would most likely need to move. As part of a broader package that addressed Republican concerns about border security.
Also, “I have heard no pushback on this bill. All they’ve said is, ‘we need to deal with the border challenges,” he said.