The House of Representatives has voted 228 to 197 to create a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including recipients of DACA and Temporary Protected Status and farmworkers. Though this is a great milestone for undocumented individuals, there are still a couple more obstacles it needs to pass through. Because House has approved the bill, it goes to the evenly split Senate to review and vote on it.
The New York Times writes that members of Senate are concerned that if this American Dream and Promise Act passes, the floodgates of immigrants and coronavirus to the United States will be thrown open. In addition, there are lawmakers that are divided about the protection and security of the border. This stalemate regarding immigration proposition is not new to Congress – in fact, it was what led President Obama to establish DACA in 2012. Immigration rights activists are urging the Democratic leaders to remove the filibuster, which requires that 60 votes to pass legislation, and vote on a simple majority.
Should this act pass, many undocumented individuals will be able to take part in a multi-step process to receive their citizenship. For individuals who have received DACA benefits, came to the United States as a child, or has been graduated high school or received a GED, or higher education, they are eligible for conditional permanent residence. Individuals can receive lawful permanent residency if the person has acquired a higher education, completed at least two years of military service, or has been employed over the last three years. Only after having lawful permanent status for over five years can an individual apply for naturalization. However, there are exceptions to the items mentioned above.
We will stay updated on this matter here at Law Offices of Wiliani-Malek. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding your case, call us immediately at (714) 432 – 1333!