Improve The Dream Act: Protect the Children of Long-term Visa Holders who Age-out

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All future Dream Acts and legislation addressing DACA should remove the *requirement* that applicants be undocumented.

Current legislation to help over two million dreamers leaves out thousands of deserving children who were brought to the United States under legal nonimmigrant visas (often as a child dependent of investor or high-skilled E, H, or L visas), have known no other home, and could be subject to deportation upon turning 21 or losing their temporary visa statuses. 

When President Obama enacted DACA in 2012, the rationale was that children under this program were brought by their parents at a young age, and the only home that they knew was the United States. Based on this premise, ALL children who met the date and age requirements set forth would have received protection or a path to citizenship via the Dream Act. Unfortunately, this premise does not hold true with the way the legislation is being written. Both DACA and the current version of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 *require* children to be undocumented, thereby excluding the children of legal visa holders, who are often in the same exact situation.

These "legal" dreamers exist due to flaws in the legal immigration system which can prevent a path to citizenship for children who grew up in the United States and be forced to leave the only country they know. During the 115th Congress, four Republican DACA bills (H.R. 1468, HR 6137, S. 2199, and S. 1937) included some of these "legal dreamers," indicating that there is bipartisan support.

The belief is simple: It should not matter what the "status" of a child was when they were brought here. They were children. All of us are dreamers with similar life experiences. If a child meets the age and year criteria set forth, they should receive the path to dream. It certainly should not be a *requirement* to be undocumented to apply for a potential Dream Act pathway to citizenship. Both the current DACA population and the "legal" Dreamers are equals and simply young aspiring Americans. 

Let's protect ALL children who grew up in the United States by making a small easy change to the Dream Act. These aspiring Americans will only make America stronger! 

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Please sign this petition to show your support and to tell Congress to Improve The Dream Act!