The following are 2 proposed laws to take note of in the coming months. Find out how they impact you now.
Currently, there are 800,000 +/- persons with deferred action (DACA) in the United States. The beneficiaries of this executive action were brought to the United States as children and never had lawful status or lost it through no fault of their own.
Now, Attorney generals from 10 states have demanded the Trump administration remove DACA for these Dreamers or face litigation from these states to end the program (much like the litigation that prevented the expansion of DACA to the parents of DACA dreamers).
Fear is spreading with the potential separation of families and reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ramping up arrests and no longer exercising discretion or limiting the prosecutorial discretion guidelines that President Obama had put in place.
In the wake of this fear that DACA will end, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced a bipartisan bill called the Dream Act of 2017.
Key components of this bill:
Expands eligibility for actual residence (though initially on an 8 year conditional period) and raises the age to under 18 when having arrived in the United States.
Dreamers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), would receive immediate protection under the Dream Act of 2017. Dreamers would go from DACA to Conditional Permanent Residency.
Date of arrival in the United States would be 4 years before enactment (bill becoming law) so if it were to become law in October 2017 the arrival of a child under 18 would have to have been by October 2013. This is also more generous than DACA.
Action to take now:
For those people who do not have DACA but would qualify under this law due to raised age and/or date of arrival into the United States, start gathering your documents to prove date of arrival, educational requirement and continuous physical presence.
Expunged convictions will not be treated as convictions per se, but rather the underlying facts. For some people beginning the process of expunging now is a good idea.