Improve The Dream is an organization led by young immigrants who have grown up in the United States as child dependents of long-term visa holders without a clear path to citizenship. Since 2017, we have been raising awareness for over 200,000 Documented Dreamers who have been excluded from proposed solutions for Dreamers. Our parents brought us here at an average age of 5, and we have been living here for an average time of over 12 years, but due to various issues in the immigration system, we don't have a clear path to citizenship. We are advocating for change that permanently ends "aging-out" and provides a path to citizenship for every child who grows up in the United States, regardless of status.
Vision: All children who grow up in the United States should have a clear path to citizenship.
Mission: To bring awareness and inspire change by highlighting issues in the immigration system which cause children who grow up in the United States to age-out and self-deport at 21, without a path to citizenship.
1. We urge the President and Congress to include protections and a path to citizenship for all children, whether undocumented or documented, in future efforts to protect Dreamers.
Documented Dreamers are currently excluded from efforts to protect Dreamers, including DACA and the Dream Act. The only reason children of long-term visa holders do not qualify for protections or path to citizenship in proposed Dreamer solutions, is that they require applicants to have no lawful status. These legislations ignore the fact that it is possible to grow up in the United States with legal status, but still not have a path to citizenship. If a documented Dreamer's parent had overstayed their visa, they would be eligible for protection, work authorization, and a clear path to citizenship in proposed Dreamer solutions. But since they have maintained status, they are not eligible. We believe this does not make sense and is antithetical to the purpose of "protecting children who grew up in this country."
2. The administration and Congress should explore all options to end "aging-out" for future child dependents of long-term visa holders.
Currently, documented Dreamers age-out due to two main reasons. Either their parent's visa does not lead to citizenship (E2 Visa) or their parent's are stuck in a long backlog for a green card (H1B visa). So when these children turn 21 or lose other temporary status, they must self-deport (leave the country on their own). We urge legislators to create protections that stop these individuals, who consider themselves Americans and consider the United States their home, from having to self-deport and go to a country they don't remember. By kicking out these young people who are contributing to their communities and the country, the US will lose over $30 billion in net fiscal benefits.
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Our advocacy community provides an opportunity to help raise awareness with others in a similar situation as yourself and also provide a platform to navigate the immigration system as a dependent or aged-out individual.