Indian American lawmaker calls on Congress to pass America’s Children Act to protect young immigrants brought to US as kids
Indian American lawmaker Ami Bera has come out in support of renewed effort to pass legal protections for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought to the US by their parents.
“Documented Dreamers were raised in America and know this country as their only home. Yet, they risk having to self-deport by the age of 21 because of backlogs in the immigration system,” he tweeted Wednesday.
Read: How a DACA update can help documented dreamers (January 31, 2022)
“Congress must pass the America’s Children Act to extend protections to these young people,” the California Democrat wrote as his party made a renewed push to provide a pathway to citizenship to some 250,000 documented ‘dreamers’, a significant majority of whom are Indian Americans.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Sen. Alex Padilla, and Rep. Deborah Ross, lead sponsors of the legislation introduced in both chambers, spoke to the media in support of the legislation at the Capitol in Washington on May 18.
Read: As Biden completes one year, Indian legal dreamers demand relief (January 18, 2022)
The legislation will allow children of those who immigrated to the country legally, but are yet to get green card because of a massive backlog to stay on in the country even after turning 21.
More than 40 of these children, who have created the ‘Improve the Dream’ group, joined the lawmakers at the press conference.
The legislation would most likely need to move as part of a broader package that addressed Republican concerns about border security, said Durbin, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “I have heard no pushback on this bill. All they’ve said is, ‘we want to deal with the border challenges.”
“For these young people, turning 21 means facing an impossible choice. Either to leave your family and self-deport to a country that you barely remember, or to stay in the United States living, undocumented, in the shadows,” Padilla said.
“These talented young people have been left out of conversations about immigration reform for too long. We’re ready to change that,” said Ross. “Documented Dreamers represent the very best of America. Let’s give them the chance to stay in the country they love and call home.”