Washington, July 2 (PTI) A group of US lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill that aims to pave the way for permanent residence for people brought to America as dependents of long-term non-immigrant visa holders , a decision that will benefit several Indian children and young people threatened with self-deportation at the age of 21.
The America’s CHILDREN Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday by lawmakers Deborah Ross, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Young Kim.
The bill seeks to protect documented dreamers, who depend on long-term non-immigrant visa holders, from the aging of the system at age 21, forcing them to self-deport.
The number of these documented dreamers is estimated at over 200,000, including a significant number of Indians.
These documented dreamers live in the United States as dependents of long-term non-immigrant visa holders (including H-1B, L-1, E-1, and E-2 workers).
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in skilled trades that require theoretical or technical expertise. Tech companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees every year in countries like India and China.
These people grew up in the United States, attended American schools, and graduated from American universities. Because they have retained their legal status, Documented Dreamers are not eligible for protection under the Deferred Action for the Arrivals of Children (DACA) or the accompanying work permit.
“The children of long-term visa holders grew up in the United States, embracing the American dream as their own, but the current failures of our immigration system force them to leave before they have a chance to start their careers and their family here, ”said Krishnamoorthi, an Indo-American Democrat.
MP Ross, who is also a Democrat, said it was unacceptable that when these children, known as Documented Dreamers, reach the age of 21, they could be forced into self-deportation to countries which they may not even remember, dividing their families.
“We need to make sure that our immigration system protects those who come here legally and supports them in their efforts to help improve our country. When I met Pareen Mhatre, a student at the University of Iowa, we discussed the importance of having young people like her in this country, ”said Congresswoman Miller-Meeks, a Republican.
The legislation would protect those who are the children of long-term non-immigrant visa holders from the aging of the visa system at age 21.
“These students grew up here, went to school here, and want to continue to make our country a better place. I am proud to support them, ”she said.
The bill provides a path to permanent residence for people who were brought to the United States as dependent children of workers admitted under employer-approved petitions, who retained their status in the United States. for 10 years (including four years as a dependent) and have graduated. of a higher education institution.
It establishes age protections that lock in a child’s age on the date they apply for a green card rather than the final action date and provides work authorization for documented dreamers further 16-year-old whose green card applications are pending.
Documented dreamers, or children of long-time immigrant workers, came to our country legally as children and made positive contributions to our country. Sadly, their legal status is in limbo as at 21, they have to self-evict themselves, despite only knowing this country as their homeland, Congressman Young Kim said.
Dip Patel, founder of Improve the Dream, said that for the first time they have legislation that will end aging for good and provide a mechanism to access citizenship for every child who grows up in the United States with documented status.
Patel, a clinical pharmacist in Illinois, recently led a group of Indian youth from across America to the White House where they met with senior Biden administration officials and influential lawmakers, calling on them to “stay behind. United States “.
The group consisted of young people who face the prospect of imminent deportation to their country of origin as they have either reached the age of 21 or are on the verge of reaching that age, after which they cannot no longer depend on their parents’ visas.
A significant number of these parents have been waiting for decades for a green card, a document issued to immigrants to the United States as proof that the bearer has been granted the privilege of permanent residence in the United States.
“For too long, young immigrants like us, who were raised and educated here as Americans, have been forced to leave the country we call home. More than 200,000 documented Dreamers who once felt hopeless now have hopes of being recognized as something we have long felt: Americans, ”Patel said.
“We are the children of America and this bill will recognize us as such. Thanks to MP Deborah Ross for championing this cause. This legislation will improve the dreams of all children of long-term visa holders and allow us to put our skills fully to serve this country. We urge Congress to pass the US CHILDREN Act quickly, ”Patel said.
According to Neil Makhija, executive director of IMPACT, a leading civic organization in South Asia, this gives hope to 200,000 Documented Dreamers who are American in every sense of the word except for a statute. unjust, unjust and reckless legal.
“These are the children of America, and we must give them the path to the citizenship they deserve and which will also serve the country,” he said. PTI LKJ NSA AKJ NSA NSA
Warning :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI