Giving undocumented immigrant children a path to citizenship
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Our goal is for Congress to pass legislation that puts illegal immigrants brought here as children on the path to citizenship.
This act of legislation is important to pass because these individuals deserve the opportunity to achieve citizenship and start a life in the United States. Every years thousands of children under the age of 18 are brought into the United States illegally by their parents, in hope for a better, and more stable lifestyle. This becomes an issue for the children though, as they grow up in this country just as everyone else, but face implications when older. As stated by Senator Dick Durbin, “We don’t believe that young people should be held responsible for the errors or the illegal actions of their parents.” These people were just mere children when they arrived here, the majority not even aware of them being brought here. These children didn’t make the decision to break the law and come into this country illegally, so what sense does it make to punish and deport them for it? Illegal immigrants are faced with a rough lifestyle because they are lacking identity. They can’t receive benefits, have no certifications such as drivers licenses, and can rarely apply for promising jobs, due to a lack of papers and documentation. These undocumented children do not deserve to live and deal with these conditions.
Senator Dick Durbin also stated “We believe that those who were brought into the United States as children have grown up in this country, have no criminal record, and who are prepared to serve this country in a variety of ways should be given that chance to make America a better nation.”. These groups of people have only known the United States all their lives. The only ties to their home nations are often just that it is their birth place, and for those with negative ties, they would not be able to apply for this citizenship. Having lived in this nation, these undocumented immigrants are capable and able to get jobs, thus boosting the economy. This act will ensure education, and strengthening of the nation through military involvement, plans of working, and schooling. Not only will these immigrants be better protected and benefited, but we will as well.
This legislative act will be placed along the same basis of the Dream Act. The Dream Act is a bill that would have granted children brought to the US illegally as children the opportunity to become legal citizens. This is accomplished through the steps of Conditional Permanent Residency, Lawful Permanent Residency, and Application for Citizenship. The regulations and requirements of application would remain the same as stated in the Dream Act, such as must having had entered when under the age of 18, no long term crimes, admittance to higher education, passing of background checks and medical exams, and no abandonment of residency, among others. (See below for full list). Thorough checks will ensure the safety of our nation, and will assure that these immigrants will receive necessary and helpful assistance to citizenship, given their position.
In conclusion, legislation must be passed granting these undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, for they have suffered more than they deserve. Having been raised and grown up in this country as the rest of us had, and having no account or say in being brought here, they simply cannot be blamed for the actions of their parents. This act will ensure safety, a promising future, and prosperity for these immigrants.
(This legislation will include all DREAM ACT applicants, and all undocumented immigrants who entered up until the passing of this act, in order to avoid an influx of people entering simply for become citizens freely.)
Under the 2017 Dream Act, people who’ve had CPR status for 8 years would be eligible to apply for LPR (green card) status. They would then likely have to be in LPR status for 5 years before they would be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. A person cannot apply for citizenship without first adjusting to LPR status.
CPR (8 years)
LPR (5 years)
CITIZENSHIP (total of at least 13 years until eligible for citizenship)
To remove the conditional basis of their resident status and become a full-fledged LPR, the
applicant would have to meet these requirements:
1. Not have certain criminal convictions on their record.
2. Not have abandoned their residence in the U.S.
3. Have done one of the following:
a. acquired a degree from an institution of higher education, or
b. completed at least 2 years in a bachelor’s degree program, or
c. served for at least 2 years in the uniformed services, or
d. been employed for periods totaling at least 3 years, at least 75 percent of which time was working with valid employment authorization. (If the person was not working, they must show that they were enrolled in school or an education program.)
e. A hardship exception may be available for people who do not meet at least one of the
four requirements listed immediately above.
4. Demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English and show a knowledge and understanding of U.S. civics.
5. Pass a background check.
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