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Pathway To Citizenship

Pathway to Citizenship

On March 18, 2021 the House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act — the expansive legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for over 3 million undocumented immigrants that includes youth, dreamers, farmers and TPS holders.

The legislation was passed largely along partisan lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.

The bills are narrower than the comprehensive immigration package introduced in February with the support of President Joe Biden. Even so, they face an uphill path to passage in the Senate, where 10 Republicans would be required to vote with every Democrat in order to approve them.

Under the legislation, about 2.5 million “Dreamers” would qualify for the pathway. Currently, no process to citizenship for “Dreamers” exists.  It would grant conditional permanent resident status for 10 years and cancel removal proceedings if people meet certain requirements. Those requirements include being physically present in the U.S. on or before Jan. 1, 2021, being 18 years old or younger on the initial date of entry into the U.S. and not having been convicted of crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking.

The bill also includes protections and a pathway to citizenship for individuals who were eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on or before September 17, 2017, and individuals who had Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status as of January 20, 2021. Individuals who are beneficiaries of either of those programs and have been in the U.S. for three years before the act’s enactment are eligible for the protections and pathway to citizenship.

If this critical bill passes the Senate that could eventually grant citizenship to millions and those are excellent news!

Carlos Sandoval

Carlos Enrique Sandoval, Attorney, member of the FL Bar, AILA and licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court and the Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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