Democratic lawmakers announced Friday the second act in just over a week granting permanent residence to DREAMers.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., introduced the American Hope Act on Friday morning, which would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients and other undocumented children who entered the U.S. before their 18th birthday to apply for conditional permanent resident status.
After three years with a green card, those who qualify would then be eligible to apply for citizenship two years later.
“All of us here support DACA. We fought for DACA and we will defend DACA,” Gutierrez said at a Friday news conference. “And the defense includes putting on the table legislation that charts a way forward.”
The bill garnered support from Nevada Democratic Reps. Dina Titus and Ruben Kihuen, who tweeted his support Friday.
Aquí viven, aquí estudian, aquí trabajan, y para muchos de estos jóvenes, este el único país que conocen #AmericanHopeAct.
— Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (@RepKihuen) July 28, 2017
“For many of these young people, this is the only country they know,” Kihuen wrote in Spanish.
Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, R-Gardnerville, agreed that DREAMers who arrived before age 5 to 10 and are “basically raised as an American” should be granted permanent residence.
“It has to be handled case by case,” he said, arguing that young children arrived “because their parents broke the law” and “through no fault of their own,” but that undocumented immigrants use “a lot of the government services … that should be going to full-time citizens,” like medical aid.
Senate Democrats issued a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday asking for his continued support for DACA in the face of a lawsuit from 10 state attorneys general.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., was one of 42 senators who signed the letter. She also stated her support for the DREAM Act, a bipartisan effort, one week earlier.
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Conditional permanent resident status requires applicants to:
— be undocumented
— have arrived in the U.S. before turning 18
— have lived in the U.S. since Dec. 31, 2016
— pass a background check
— have not been convicted of a some crimes