What Is the American Dream and Promise Act and How Could It Help Young Immigrants?
Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.
Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: September 20, 2021.
The American Dream and Promise Act is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that aims to put Dreamers and other immigrants on the path to United States citizenship, canceling the removal of individuals who qualify for this special immigrant classification. Learn more in this complete overview.
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Conditions That Led to the American Dream and Promise Act
It was in 2012 when then-President Barack Obama decided to implement the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The program offers relief from deportation to some young undocumented immigrants. They either arrived in the U.S. as minors or were brought to the country without authorization.
These immigrants are commonly referred to as Dreamers, whose work in various sectors has become a significant key to the American social fabric. DACA is the only program that protects Dreamers. When Donald Trump became the president of the United States in 2017, he tried his best to remove the program by all means to hinder immigration. Thankfully, the program remained intact during the course of his presidency.
What Is the American Dream and Promise Act?
When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he swiftly began introducing a series of legislation to protect immigrants and provide a smoother path to legal immigration. On March 3, the American Dream and Promise Act was introduced in the House of Representatives.
Later, on March 18, the Dream and Promise Act was approved by the House of Representatives. It has not yet been enacted into law, but if it does go into effect, it will likely make a significant impact on the lives of young immigrants.
What Is the Dream and Promise Act?
The American Dream and Promise Act allows a pathway to citizenship for many immigrants, especially the sons and daughters of H-1B professionals, L-1 executives, managers, E-1 treaty traders, and E-2 treaty investors. Unfortunately, there is no path for citizenship for children of parents with other temporary working visas.
The before-mentioned children of parents with working visas can apply for citizenship if they meet these requirements:
- Were under the age of 18 when they first came to the U.S. and had been continuously present in the United States.
- Have been continuously present in the United States starting January 1, 2021;
- Graduated from high school or entered a college or high school in the U.S.;
- Have not been charged or convicted of any crimes.
Young Dreamers under 18 could avoid deportation proceedings if they meet the conditional permanent resident status requirement, except for when they are not enrolled in high school yet.
If you believe that you or a family member will qualify under this act, our law firm is here for you and your loved ones. Serving the state of Georgia’s immigrant community and helping them fulfill their dreams is our primary goal. A top-rated immigration attorney at Manji Law is ready to advise and obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Contact us at 678.902.2999 without hesitation for a free consultation and overview of your case. Our experienced immigration attorneys will fight for you and obtain permanent resident status or citizenship for your family members, analyze forced departure situations, and tell you more about the childhood arrivals DACA program.
Who Drew up the American Dream and Promise Act?
The Dream Act was first proposed for the bill in 2001 by American senators Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). Unfortunately, it did not pass.
Only after twenty years and many contradictions was it implemented by the House of Representatives. For the American Dream and Promise Act to become law, it must be passed by the Senate, the House of Representatives, and ultimately signed into law by the President.
But how does the program help the immigrants’ children and their families? If signed into law, there are four ways they promise the safety and wellbeing of the beneficiaries, and they are as follows:
#1. H.R.6 American Dream Expands Eligibility to Citizenship
To be eligible for relief, the applicants must be younger or of 18 when they first entered the United States and physically present since January 1, 2021. H.R.6 will also extend the protections for E and H visa holders and temporary protected status (TPS) and deferred enforced departure (DED). The American Promise Act of 2021 will provide green cards to anyone eligible for TPS in January 2017 or DED on January 20, 2021.
2.3 million Dreamers are expected to receive a path to citizenship.
#2. DACA Beneficiaries Will Have an Expedited Path to Citizenship
DACA beneficiaries will immediately adjust for lawful permanent resident status. They can rapidly qualify for green cards and finally achieve permanent stability in the country, ultimately putting them on the path to citizenship.
#3. Affordable Higher Education for Dreamers
The program aims to ease the financial barriers for higher education for those who are first-generation college students or lack access to federal financial aid or any other forms of assistance. Higher education is a top priority in this program.
#4. Families Will Get to Be Together
By helping people on their path to citizenship, families will no longer live in fear because of a possible separation or immigration enforcement. H.R.6 will also include citizenship through employment, making the program even more accessible.
Opposition to the American Dream and Promise Act
Those who oppose the American Dream and Promise Act fear that the program will encourage, rather than dissuade, undocumented immigration. Some opposition also stems from a fear that immigrants are taking jobs, resources, and security from current U.S. citizens. However, pro-immigration advocates understand that these concerns are unfounded and that immigrants only strengthen the economy and culture of the United States.
These fears are the prime motives that some are against the American Dream and Promise Act. For the Dreamers program to pass, H.R.6 needs all 50 Democratic votes in the Senate and ten from the Republican Party.
American Dream and Promise Act Voting Record
Unfortunately, as of fall 2021, the Dream Act has not been passed into law. On March 18, 2021, it was approved by the House of Representatives, and it is set to go for a vote in front of the Senate.
We will be sure to keep the Atlanta immigrant community updated as the situation develops. If you want to apply for citizenship in the United States, make sure to contact an Atlanta immigration lawyer who is well-versed in such cases.
American Dream and Promise Act Summary
After the Senate received the approval of the House of Representatives, they read it twice and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary.
With that said, on June 15, 2021, the Committee on the Judiciary held a three-hour meeting where permanent solutions for immigration bills were offered for young immigrants. It is believed to be only a matter of time until they publish their latest conclusions on the American Dream and Promise Act.
In the end, if you or a family member need help with an immigration case, you should seek reliable help from an investor immigration attorney.
At Manji Law, we help families to stay together and reach their international immigration dream. We’ve handled cases of all sizes and complexities, so no matter your case status, our lawyers are here to help. Get reliable and compassionate legal help today by calling us directly at 678.902.2999 or contacting us online to request a consultation.
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