If you arrived in the United States as an undocumented child immigrant, you likely know what it´s like to live in constant fear of deportation to a country you might barely remember and whose language you might not even speak. Public sympathy has always been with you, but the Trump administration´s attitude was hostile.
While the Obama administration granted temporary DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) benefits to temporarily keep “DACA Dreamers” in the United States, the Trump administration ordered a phase-out of DACA protections. Only judicial action was able to delay this phase-out, and only the election of Joe Biden prevented it from happening.
The immigration system created by the US Citizenship Act of 2021 bill would put DACA Dreamers and others who entered the US as children on a pathway to citizenship. If you arrived in the United States before your 18th birthday, whether or not legally and whether or not accompanied by an adult, the new bill will allow you to become a permanent resident if:
- You have graduated from high school or obtained a high school equivalency certificate;
- You registered for the Selective Service (if you are required to do so); and
- You have either (i) completed at least two years of postsecondary level education, (ii) served in the US armed forces for at least two years, or (iii) have earned income for at least three years or at least three-fourths of the time you have been authorized to work in the United States.
The new bill would allow those who already hold DACA status and are eligible to renew their status to apply for green cards immediately. In almost all cases, spouses and children are also eligible to immigrate.