Dreamers and people with Temporary Protected Status in Illinois may have new hope in a proposed bill that is currently under debate in Congress. Under the bill, Dreamers and TPS recipients would be granted a path to citizenship. If passed, the legislation would allow up to 2 million people to become U.S. citizens. The pathways would be different for Dreamers and those who are TPS holders.
Dream and Promise Act of 2019
The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 is under debate in committee in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. It would protect an estimated two million people, including people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and those who are in danger of losing their temporary protected status.
The Path for Dreamers to Citizenship
Under the bill, Dreamers would be able to apply for 10-year conditional residence permits or green cards. Eligible Dreamers would include people who were 17 or younger when they arrived in the U.S. and who had lived in the country for four or more years. They could apply for full green cards after they worked for three years or served in the military for two years. Dreamers would not be eligible to apply if they had been convicted of criminal offenses with sentences of a year or longer in prison. Those who had three or more convictions for minor offenses with 90-day periods of incarceration would also be ineligible. Dreamers would also be eligible for federal financial aid to help them to pay for college. Dreamers could apply for citizenship five years after receiving their full green cards.
The Path to Citizenship for People With TPS
People who have been in the U.S. under temporary protected status have been in the country for decades. Many have bought homes, started businesses, and put down roots. The Trump Administration has threatened to end TPS for immigrants from a number of different countries. The bill would protect these people as well. People with TPS would be allowed to apply for green cards immediately. To be eligible, they must have had TPS in Sept. 2016 and have lived in the U.S. for three or more years. They must also be able to pass criminal background checks. While the bill provides promise to immigrants, it is unclear if it can pass the Republican-controlled Senate.