India Post News Service
America’s CHILDREN Act was introduced last week in the House of Representatives by lawmakers Deborah Ross, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Young Kim.
The bi-partisan bill, spearheaded by Congresswoman Deborah Ross, also provides for work authorization for documented dreamers over the age of sixteen, whose green card applications are pending.
Documented dreamers are those children who accompanied their parents who entered the US legally on long-term non-immigrant Visas such as H-1B. Currently, when these children turn 21 (age out), they can no longer continue with their H-4 dependent visas. Either they have to transit to an F-1 visa meant for international students, which has its own challenges such as higher fees and restricted work eligibility; or they have to self deport to their home country, say India.
The number of such Documented Dreamers is estimated to be about 200,000. According to an earlier study done by David Bier, a research fellow at CATO Institute, as of April 2020, 136,000 children from Indian families were caught in the EB2 and EB3 employment based green card category backlog, which had an estimated wait time of 84 years. Bier had pointed out that 62% of such children would age out without getting a green card.
Passage of this bill will immensely help the Indian diaspora. While the 2021 version of the House’s American Dream and Promise Act, provided protection to documented dreamers, the Senate Dream Act did not include them.
‘Improve The Dream’ an association led by young immigrants who have grown up in the US, was one of the many voices advocating for such legislation.