June 22nd, 2018
June 21st, 2018
There are an estimated two million undocumented immigrants in the United States who were brought here as children by their parents through no choice of their own, and cannot get educational benefits or work authorization because of their immigration status. Childhood arrivals grow up in our communities and love our country, but face deportation because their parents failed to comply with immigration laws. Rep. Eshoo believes these individuals should be given a chance to become citizens of the only country they have ever known, and has supported legislative and administrative responses to this issue.
Rep. Eshoo is a longtime cosponsor and supporter of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would provide undocumented immigrant students who arrived in the U.S. as children, graduated from U.S. high schools, are of good moral character, and have been in the country continuously for five years, with the opportunity to work toward legal status.
During that time the student must earn a college degree or complete at least two years of work toward a Bachelor’s Degree, or have served in the U.S. military for two years with an honorable discharge. Students who meet all these conditions at the end of the six year period would be granted permanent residency and have the ability to one day become U.S. citizens.
The U.S. military supports this legislation because of its potential impact on recruitment, and for creating a path to citizenship for more individuals who serve our country honorably.
On December 8, 2010, Rep. Eshoo voted for the DREAM Act when it passed the House by a vote of 216-198. Unfortunately, the legislation did not pass in the Senate and did not become law. She has cosponsored the DREAM Act or similar legislation in every Congress since.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security and President Obama announced that undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for citizenship under the DREAM Act would be given the chance to have their removal proceedings deferred as a matter of prosecutorial discretion. Under this program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) young people who arrived here before age 16, have lived here for five years or more, have pursued education or service in the military, and are currently under age 30, can apply for a two-year renewable deferral of removal proceedings and work authorization. Rep. Eshoo praised the DACA policy as providing “a ray of hope for those who were brought to the United States as very young children through no choice of their own and have built lives in our communities.”
Click here for more information on who is eligible for deferred action and how to apply. Also, feel free to contact Rep. Eshoo’s office with any questions you may have regarding the deferred action process.
Over 787,000 individuals have received relief from deportation under the DACA program, allowing them to obtain work permits, pursue higher education, obtain driver’s licenses, and remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Donald Trump promised during the campaign to end the DACA program, but so far his Administration has continued to issue DACA renewals. On August 1, 2017, Rep. Eshoo joined with dozens of House colleagues to urge the President to continue this program in the face of legal challenges by Texas and other states. Click here to read the letter.
Rep. Eshoo is also a cosponsor of H.R. 496, the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act. H.R. 496 provides temporary legal status and work permits for the 740,000 immigrants currently protected under DACA. This legislation would ensure that the individuals who came out of the shadows and enrolled in this program are not punished for coming forward and then being forced to return to countries they have never known.
On September 5, 2017, the President rescinded the DACA program and put hundreds of thousands of young people in jeopardy. The President’s announcement ends all new issuance of DACA status and work authorization, and ends all renewals of status by March 5, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security has posted FAQs on their website here, and affected individuals can also always call Congresswoman Eshoo’s District Office at (650) 323-2984.
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