Since President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), there have been several bills introduced in the US House and Senate attempting to provide legal relief for young people who were brought to the United States as children, also known as Dreamers. The multitude of options can become confusing quickly, so below is a brief breakdown of the bills, starting with the most conservative and ending with the most liberal.
- The SUCCEED Act: Would give conditional residence to those who were brought here under the age of 15. That conditional residence would last 5 years, could be renewed once, and then after 10 years they could apply for legal permanent residence. One stipulation in this bill is that these recipients cannot petition for family members. After 5 more years, they could petition to become US Citizens. This bill will be paired with border security legislation.
- The RAC Act: Like the SUCCEED Act, this bill would give 5 year conditional residency, and recipients would have to renew that conditional residency. The difference is that once renewed, they can immediately apply for permanent residence. There are also no stipulations against petitioning for family members once they have legal permanent residency.
- The DREAM Act: This bill would give an eight year conditional residency to qualifying individuals who were 17 or younger when they were brought to the United States. Once an individual completes higher education, three-years of work experience, or two-years of military service, they can apply for permanent legal residence.
- The American Hope Act: Like the DREAM act, this bill would give an 8-year conditional residence to those brought here at age 17 or younger. After 3 years, they could apply to remove those conditions. If a current DACA recipient applies, their time with DACA will count towards those three years.
There is also the BRIDGE Act, but since it does not provide a permanent solution, it has not been included above.
The DREAM Act is, by far, the most bipartisan of the solutions. It provides a temporary fix in the way of conditional residence, and then a way for individuals to move from conditional to permanent residence once they have completed higher education or work or military experience.
Contact your senators and representative today to ask them to support a clean legislative solution for dreamers. If you don’t know who your representative is you can find out who it is here. If you don’t know who your senators are you can find out here.