Proposed Amendment to Dream Act

Amendment:

 

SEC. 111. PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS ON A CONDITIONAL BASIS FOR CERTAIN LONG-TERM RESIDENTS WHO ENTERED THE UNITED STATES AS CHILDREN.

(b) Requirements.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary or the Attorney General shall cancel the removal of, and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis, or without the conditional basis as provided in section 113(c)(2), an alien who is inadmissible or deportable from the United States (or [has been a dependent child of a nonimmigrant admitted pursuant to an approved employer petition under section 214 or with status under section 101(a)(15)(E)] or is under a grant of Deferred Enforced Departure or has temporary protected status under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a)) if

SEC. 124. DETERMINATION OF CONTINUOUS PRESENCE AND RESIDENCE.

(b) Treatment Of Certain Breaks In Presence Or Residence.—

(3) TRAVEL AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY.—Any period of travel outside of the United States by an alien that was authorized by the Secretary or in accordance with the terms of an alien's lawful status may not be counted toward any period of departure from the United States under paragraph (1).

Note that the language of documented Dreamers in the proposed text in red was used in the "Republican Consensus Immigration Bill" (HR 6136 in the 115th Congress) and was also proposed by Congressman Collin Peterson to HR 6 in the 116th Congress (with support from all Republican members of the House Rules Committee).

An iteration of this amendment was also proposed as an amendment to the Dream Act section of the 2013 CIR by Senator Marco Rubio.

Important Considerations For Any Documented Dreamer Language:

1. Langage must apply to both current dependents and those who initially came as dependents, but may have aged      out of dependent status. For example, in a past Dreamer bill that included documented Dreamers, the term "child"          was used to describe documented Dreamers. That would make those over the age of 21 ineligible for relief under          the bill due to the definition of "child" under immigration law. 

2. Documented Dreamers should qualify regardless of their parents' status at the time of passage of the bill. Some        past bill language stated parents had to be in the nonimmigrant status they initially came on. However, some                  parents may have left the country, moved to another temporary status, or have gotten permanent residence after the      child aged out. So as long as the individual initially came as a child dependent, they should qualify for relief.

3. As documented Dreamers had the ability to travel abroad, and oftentimes was necessary for visa renewals, the          language to determine continuous presence must make an exception for travel that occurred in accordance an              individual's lawful status. As long as residence was maintained in the United States, international travel should                be excused. The proposed Dream Act excuses advanced parole from counting against breaks in presence. Future        Dreamer legislation should ensure documented Dreamers do not fall through the cracks due to                                        aggregate travel outside the United States, since many of these individuals have resided for 15-20 years.